CNN-IBN to scrutinise Indian airports in weeklong series

NEW DELHI: CNN-IBN will launch its weeklong programme State of India's Airports from 24 March, based on interviews of users - both commuters and pilots - of the largest and even some smaller airports, building an industry perspective into a public issue.

The public interviews will be validated by a special CNN IBN-AC Nielsen survey to determine the Airport Satisfaction Index of regular airport users to identify the key areas of improvement and their level of satisfaction with Indian airports.

The biggest and the best - the newly inaugurated, state-of-the-art Hyderabad airport - will be showcased alongside smaller ones, like Kochi, Coimbatore, Amritsar and Gwalior, which lie in shambles, officials from the channel revealed.

One important question to be probed is why cities with killing air traffic, Delhi, Mumbai or Kolkata, still have only one airport, and also, how is the privatisation attempt working out against claims like "You Awaiting a World Class Airport" seen in hoardings on the entry point of Delhi's airports.

While issues of civic amenities, hygiene, ease of getting luggage back and public utilities at the airports would be gauged from the people in general in the interview format, those of technicalities such as runway conditions, bird hit frequency, near-miss collisions, night landing will be understood from pilots and technical staff.

"While India possesses the fastest growing aviation market in the world, with the number of passengers growing exponentially, the adequate infrastructure to support this growth is still lagging," says a statement from the channel.

The series will culminate with a special one-hour show on 29 March at 8 pm (repeat Sunday, 23 March at 12 pm) that will provide an in-depth look at some of the upcoming, "world-class" airports from around the country!

"A massive project to expand, revamp and in some cases even build entirely new alternative airports in India's biggest cities is presently in progress," said top officials at the channel.

While renovation work in Delhi and Mumbai is still underway, the new airports in Bangalore and Hyderabad are ready and in the case of the latter, been recently inaugurated.

"CNN-IBN's State of Indian Airports will not only look at these four big cities but also lay focus on some of the country's smaller airports."

The weeklong newswheel stories will be substantiated by a nationwide poll conducted by AC Nielsen that will assess factors like the facilities available, user satisfaction, connectivity, quality of infrastructure, the pros and cons of privatisations

"State of Indian Airports is intended to depict the public's dissatisfaction with the current state of most airports in the country, their inability to cope with the increasing passenger traffic, show successful examples of smaller airports and raise debates on issues like why bigger cities cannot have multiple airports," the channel says.

"State of Indian Airports brings viewers a close glimpse of the real condition of some of India's airports, both big and small. The poll results on the country's best and worst airports will further validate the need to upgrade these epicentres of India's booming aviation industry," maintains CNN-IBN & IBN7 editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai.

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