Varanasi’s Lal Bahadur Shastri (LBS) International Airport, is all set to undergo a unique revamp!
The airport’s runway will have a national highway running under it, which will make it India’s first ever airport runway with such a unique feature. The construction of an underpass will ensure the expansion of the runway for the landing of big airplanes.
Currently, authorities are working on extending the airport’s runway from 2750 meters to 4075 meters. National Highway (NH) 56 which will run under the runway and will be converted into a 4 lane road. The runway expansion and underpass construction are happening simultaneously.
According to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) Project Director, Mr. S.B.Singh, NH 56 will be India’s first highway to pass under an airport runway. The project will also solve the long-pending issue of deciding the alignment of the NH 56.
In 2004, Airports Authority Of India (AAI) had proposed for the expansion of the airport’s runway. However, as a railway track runs on the eastern side of the runway, the expansion could only take place on the west where the NH-56 exists.
The proposal was rejected for over a decade but in 2015 AAI sent a letter to the Utter Pradesh Government, seeking the required land. For the project, AAI acquired 593.77 acres of land in Mangari, Bikunthpur, Karmi, Ghamhapur Karmi, Sagunaha and Pura Raghunathpur villages.
Australia’s Brisbane International Airport and Germany’s Leipzig/Halle Airport(In The Picture Above) are 2 such airports around the world which have national highways running underneath their runways.