GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) in India is ready to open the first phase of its newly expanded terminal in the coming weeks.

The expansion project will see the addition of more built-up areas, which will be integrated into the existing terminal buildings.

As part of the first phase of the expansion, the East Pier (straight) portion area will soon be open to passengers.

Covering an area of 15,742m² and three levels, the newly expanded part of the terminal will have six domestic arrival bus gates and three travellators across two levels.

GHIAL said that the project has increased the integrated passenger terminal to 379,370m², which can now accommodate 149 check-in counters and 26 security screening machines, as well as 44 emigration counters and 44 immigration counters.

The project will also see the addition of new infrastructure at the airside and landside areas.

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The new infrastructure at the airport’s east and west pier buildings will facilitate the creation of 44 contact gates, 28 remote departure gates and nine remote arrival gates available for smooth operations.

In order to improve runway capacity, new rapid exit taxiways (RETs) have been added.

The RETs are said to have been designed to allow aircraft to taxi off the runaway at shorter distances, thereby minimising runway occupancy time while increasing runway capacity.

Additionally, GHIAL also constructed a new parallel taxiway for effective operation during secondary runway utilisation.

The airport expansion project also features a Ground Service Equipment (GSE) tunnel, which is claimed to be the first of its kind for any airport in India.

It has been designed to provide safe passenger and seamless baggage movement at the airport, reducing time loss during the crisscross movement of vehicles and aircraft.

The GSE tunnel is linked to 42 remote aircraft stands on the east side of the airport as well as the Head of Stand Road, leading to the remote gates area of the expanding passenger terminal.

GHIAL initiated the project with the objective of increasing passenger capacity to more than 34 million people each year.

In 2019, the airport welcomed 21 million passengers.