The gleaming new T2 terminal at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport will be thrown open to public on February 12. However, the domestic operations will be integrated with the terminal next year.
For harried passengers, the new terminal is a welcome change from the run-down, overloaded airport. The new terminal, which is the first major improvement made to the airport cost Re. 5400 Crore. It will be able to handle 4 crore passengers a year, up from 1 crore for the old terminal. Terminal 2 tries to make the wait for flights less painful by offering free Wi-Fi in all waiting areas and giving passengers a chance to shop in 21,000 sq mt of retail space. Restaurants available at the airport include Domino's Pizza, KFC, Baskin-Robbins, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Mad Over Donuts and Pizza Hut.
The terminal's design has been made by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the Chicago-based architects, who are behind the Burj Khalifa in Dubai too, The new design of T2 has been inspired by India's national bird, the peacock. Traces of the motif are present in the towering columns and marble floor. It will also be host to the world's largest public art programme, with more than 7,000 artworks on a 3.2 km-long wall.
Terminal 2 has been built by a consortium of companies led by GVK, which was awarded the deal in 2006 to re-develop the international airport. The development was stalled for many years because of encroachments on the land set aside for the new terminal.