The economic development of a city depends upon various factors, one the most important being the development of the airport linked to the city. The airport is one of the most important assets for a developing city, as it plays a leading role in deriving the tourism, business, trade, etc. for that city as well as the neighbouring regions.
The religious and tourist capital of Punjab, Amritsar is a developing city with an international airport, that not only serves people in the state of Punjab but also the adjoining states including Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
There are a number of aspects which contribute towards the development and growth of an airport, one of the most important being development of public transport connectivity with its catchment areas, but interestingly despite being the Punjab’s busiest and Northern India’s 2nd busiest international airport outside Delhi, Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport, Amritsar (SGRDJI) lacks suitable public transport connectivity. It is probably the only major international airport in India, which does not have any public transportation connectivity with its catchment areas or even the city itself.
A Loss To Revenue Of Punjab
Today, there is a well-developed public transportation network from major cities across Punjab linking it with Delhi airport, but not with the state’s own international airport at Amritsar.
The large share of international air travel market of Punjab, which should have been concentrated at Amritsar Airport, since years has been dependent upon Delhi. The total international traffic handled by Delhi airport in the year 2019 was about 1.8 crore passengers. According to an estimate, about 35% of Delhi’s international traffic origins or ends up in Punjab, which equivalents to approximately more than about 55 lakh passengers.
While this is not only due to the lack of public transportation connectivity from the airport, a large number of other factors contribute towards it including lack of direct international flights from major destinations across North America, Europe, Australia, etc to Amritsar Airport due to which passengers have no other option except to travel via other airports in India.
The linking of SGRDJI airport with major cities of Punjab and other neighbouring states will eventually allow a large number of travelers to travel to/from Amritsar easily and cost effectively, instead of travelling via any other airport in India. The airport at present is also directly connected with multiple direct flights a day to Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi in the UAE with majority of flyers on these routes working on blue collar jobs. The introduction of bus services from cities across Punjab with Amritsar airport, would greatly benefit these passengers, along with developing traffic on these existing international routes from the airport.
In such a manner, the traffic of a number of markets from Amritsar could also be developed, including Singapore, Malaysia, UK, Italy, etc.
Boost The Economic Development
While the large leakage of international traffic from Punjab will continue for the years ahead, until and unless, Amritsar is developed as a primary secondary international hub in Northern India after Delhi, the traffic on existing international routes from Amritsar could surely be developed.
With development of public transportation network between SGRDJI Airport, Amritsar and major cities of Punjab and neighbouring states, it would eventually boost the feeder traffic for the airport, which would not only support the traffic development on existing international and domestic routes from the airport, but will also support, large number of businesses and even industries across the city and the state in the long term.
This would not just provide people the ease of travelling inter-state and intra-state, to/from the airport, but it also has the potential to boost the economy of the city of Amritsar and even the state of Punjab as well.
About The Author
Ravreet Singh is a young 17-year old blogger who has an avid interest in aviation. His main focus on aviation is connectivity of Amritsar, Punjab with the World. He is the youngest team member of FlyAmritsar Initiative, a public campaign for more direct flights to/from Amritsar.