The Government of India has confirmed a new integrated terminal at Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair to strengthen its passenger handling capacity.

Construction work is currently underway and the new terminal is expected to be ready by the middle of next year.

The project, undertaken by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), is estimated to cost around Rs7bn ($95m).

Once complete, the new integrated terminal building will enable the Port Blair airport to handle around five million passengers annually. Currently, the airport handles 1.8 million passengers a year.

The new building will have an area of around 40,837m² and will exhibit a shell-shaped structure depicting the sea and islands.

It will feature three levels comprising of lower ground, upper ground and first floor levels.

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The lower ground floor will serve as a remote arrival, departure and service area while the upper ground floor will feature entry gates for departure passengers and exit gates for arrivals.

The first floor will be designed as a waiting lounge for international passengers.

Overall, the terminal will be completely air-conditioned and will have 28 check-in counters, three passenger boarding bridges, five conveyor belts with in-line scan and firefighting systems.

During peak hours, the terminal will be able to handle up to 1,200 passengers.

The city side area will have parking facilities for cars, taxis and buses.

The entire terminal will be illuminated by 100% natural lighting through skylights provided at roof level.

Recently, AAI announced that it will invest $165.6m for the modernisation of Patna Airport in the state of Bihar.