The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport on Friday completed 10 years with the laying of a foundation stone for expansion, which will take the overall capacity of the facility to 40 million passengers per annum.
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao laid the foundation stone for the expansion at the decennial celebrations.
The event also saw launch of Airport City and foundation stone for Exhibition and Convention Centre.
During 2017-18, the airport is projected to handle 18 million passengers.
GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), the airport operator, had earlier stated that the initial expansion plans to increase the capacity to 25 million passengers may cost Rs 2,500 crore. It is expected to be completed in two and a half years.
GM Rao, Chairman of GMR Group, recalled that despite all the apprehensions, the world-class airport was completed five months ahead of schedule and became operational on March 23, 2008.
Earlier, GHIAL CEO SGK Kishore told reporters in Hyderabad that if the traffic grows, the overall capacity can be increased to 34-35 million and the expansion including second runway can extend to five years.
In March last year, the RGIA secured the first position in the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) passengers' survey in the 5-15 million passengers per annum (MPPA) category for the year 2016.
The ASQ survey statistics showed that Hyderabad airport has steadily improved its score from 4.4 in 2009 to 4.9 in 2016 (measured on scale of 1 to 5). Hyderabad airport also had the honour to be the first airport in India to have been awarded by Airports Council International (ACI), headquartered at Canada's Montreal.
The airport handled 6.2 million passengers in its first financial year.
The airport currently has nine domestic carriers connecting 40 destinations across India, and 15 foreign operators ferrying passengers to 20 international locations.