Swami Vivekananda International Airport (IATA: RPR, ICAO: VARP) (formerly known as Mana Airport) is the primary airport serving the state of Chhattisgarh, India. The airport is centrally located at Mana, 15 km (9.3 mi) south of Raipur between the old city and the new seat of the state government Naya Raipur. In 2006, this Airport witnessed an 82% increase in passenger traffic (the highest in the country for that year). The Airport is one of the 35 non-metro airports recently modernised by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
Swami Vivekananda – The Airport is named after this great saint.
On 24 January 2012, the Union cabinet of India approved the State Government’s proposal for renaming Raipur airport after the well known Indian saint Swami Vivekananda who spent 2 years of his teenage in Raipur. It is currently served by Air India, Jet Airways, Jetlite and IndiGo while Kingfisher Airlines suspended its operations in November 2011 due to its bad financial condition. There are also non-scheduled services by Air Odisha to Bhubaneswar and Air Taxi services by Chhattisgarh Air Link which flies from here to other cities of Chhattisgarh.
New Integrated Terminal
A new integrated terminal covering an area of 18,500 m2 (4.6 acres) has been constructed by a joint venture of Era Infra Engineering and KMB from Ukraine at a cost of INR136 crore (US$21 million).
It was inaugurated on 7 November 2012 by President Pranab Mukherjee. The new terminal has 2 aero-bridges, 20 check-in counters, 2 x-ray luggage machines, 3 security check points and 3 conveyor belts for luggage. The building is designed to handle 700 passengers including 200 international flyers at a time.
The terminal also has a provision on 15 immigration counters for prospective international flights.
Shoppers Stop has opened a retail store in the new integrated terminal making it one of the five Airport Stores operated by Shoppers Stop Ltd. in India.
The airport however, is likely to remain ‘dry’ as the Airports Authority of India has abandoned the proposal for opening of a beer bar after opposition by the public against the sale of liquor at a place named after a great saint.
The proposed international terminal is being upgraded along with the runway expansion project to enable the airport to handle larger aircraft for starting international operations, connecting the city to South-East Asia and the Middle East. The new terminal will be used for domestic flights, while the proposed international terminal is being renovated to handle international operations. Currently 4 international carriers have shown interest to start operations to Bangkok, Dubai, Qatar and Singapore once the airport is ready to start international operations.
The Airports Authority of India has also cleared the way for starting air cargo operations from the airport by giving nod to develop the old terminal building into a cargo complex.
The airfield is equipped with night landing facilities and a CAT- 1 Instrument Landing System (ILS) as well as Navigational facilities like DVOR, DME, and an NDB.