Shirdi: Saibaba devotees may soon be able to fly to Shirdi.
Officials were quoted by indiatimes.com as saying that Shirdi airport will be the first airfield developed and managed by the Maharashtra Airport Development Company Limited (MADC) in Ahmednagar district.
Vishwas M Patil, the chairman and managing director, MADC, told TOI that Shirdi airport will be the first on their list.
"The airport at Shirdi is almost ready and will be operated by MADC. Flight operations will start from next month. As far as CAG's observations are concerned, I will not be able to comment," he was quoted as saying.
"In the domestic circuit, we expect four to five flights to land and take off from the airport. Some of the routes include Shirdi-Hyderabad, Shirdi-Delhi, Shirdi-Mumbai among others. More routes will be added in the near future," Patil further told the Daily.
"A runway stretch of 2,500 metre is ready along with a large terminal building spanning 3,000sqm. Last month, a sum of Rs 40 crore was sanctioned for extending the runway by 700 metre, the work for which has been initiated. In addition to the same, the ATC (air traffic control) tower and systems are in place. All efforts are being made to give the airport an international look as we want to start international flights from this year," he added.
"The plan is to make the airport fully operational so that people can go to Shirdi directly from different cities across the country. We plan to start some international flights to Shirdi by October before the celebrations start. The place attracts a lot of foreign tourists and the airport will be able to cater to the same," Patil said.
Shirdi is located approximately 296 km from Mumbai and is called the land of Sai.
Sai Baba, also known as Shirdi Sai Baba was a spiritual leader who is regarded by his devotees as a saint an incarnation of God.