It was recognised as a significant airport in January by the central authorities after it dealt with greater than 1.5 million passengers in 2016-17, finishing three years of above-average progress.
The airport, which noticed passenger progress of about 8% and a pair of% throughout FY13 and FY14, respectively, flew a lot larger than the nationwide common of over 20% throughout the previous three fiscal years beginning fiscal 2014-15 (see chart).
The change will assist Varanasi appeal to a bigger share of the federal government’s airport funding plan. The airport’s monetary plans and efficiency would additionally now be reviewed by Airports Financial Regulatory Authority (AERA), which might imply an expert evaluation of its funds and fees.
Expenses at minor airports are calculated by the aviation ministry. “Varanasi has been one of many best-performing airports within the nation and is rising additional. Its progress can solely be termed phenomenal,” mentioned a senior aviation ministry official, who didn’t wish to be recognized.
Trade analysts say that the passenger progress throughout the interval on the airport is far larger than comparable airports resembling Lucknow and Patna.
“General, the expansion in Varanasi doesn’t appear to be pushed by connectivity to extra cities however the elevated frequency of flights from current cities,” mentioned Sharat Dhall, chief working officer at Yatra-.com, an internet journey portal.
“Main routes have been roughly the identical over the last 4 years which results in the prima facie conclusion that PM Modi representing Varanasi is drawing vital consideration to this metropolis,” Dhall mentioned.
“It does appear that Varanasi is having fun with the Modi impact with a transparent surge in passengers to town over the previous 3 years, properly forward of different comparable cities resembling Lucknow and Patna,” he mentioned.
Dhall mentioned the expansion can be sustainable “if the enterprise and tourism tasks initiated are executed upon and result in Varanasi turning into an actual hub for each enterprise and tourism”.
A tourism ministry official added that there are large plans to faucet town’s tourism potential which can additional assist the expansion of town.
“There are plans to begin a helicopter service with base in Varanasi that can join Buddhist pilgrimage centres across the metropolis. This can additional toughen tourism and air journey within the metropolis,” mentioned the official who didn’t wish to be recognized.