Hyderabad, Mar 23: The new Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) at Shamshabad began its commercial operations on Sunday morning. A Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt in Germany landed at the airport at around 12:24 am. The flight, carrying 76 passengers received a warm welcome from GMR Group officials. GMR has built the airport.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi inaugurated the airport, which is about 30 km from Hyderabad, on March 14. The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is the country's first greenfield airport developed under the public-private partnership initiative. Built by the GMR Group that has a majority stake of 63 per cent in the project, the Rs 2,470 crore airport has several firsts to its credit.
It has the longest runway in Asia at 4.26 km and the tallest air traffic control (ATC) tower in the country at 75 metres. The greenfield airport spread over 5,400 acres is a joint venture of the GMR Group, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad which has 11 per cent stake in the project, the Airports Authority of India and the Andhra Pradesh Government, which have a 13 per cent stake each.