In a major academic project, a group of students of CEPT University has proposed aerotropolis model to transform Surat airport to the Airports Authority of India (AAI). As part of their semester 3 studio ‘Metropolitan Airport and Aerotropolis infrastructure project development’ outcomes, the students of infrastructure planning undertook a massive research on ‘Transformation of Surat airport infrastructure by aerotropolis model via land pooling method’.While giving their presentation to the civil aviation secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey and AAI Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra, the students also proposed improvements in the national policy and amendment in the AAI Act.The principal objectives of the presentation were to highlight the need for integrating airports into the urban planning in a holistic manner and application of Aerotropolis model via land pooling method.Taking Surat as a case, the outcomes included a master plan for the airport and aerotropolis considering maximum land utilisation, minimum displacements and complementing development with the dream city.Speaking about the same, Juzer Kheraluwala, a second-year student of Masters in Urban and Regional Planning said, “We have proposed an aerotropolis near an airport. An aerotropolis is a metropolitan subregion where the layout, infrastructure, and economy are centred on an airport which serves as a multimodal airport city. It is similar in form to a traditional metropolis, which contains a central city commercial core and commuter-linked suburbs. Delhi has aero-city around the airport. So we have proposed to make it mandatory for new airports.In AAI Act, there is a clause that does not permit residential development. In order to have an aerocity, there should be a blend of residential and commercial infrastructure. If you have airport far away from a city with no residential development, it will not really make a difference.”PROPOSALImprovements in National Policy on Airport Oriented Urban-Economic Development focusing towards non-aeronautical revenue Amendment to the AAI act and further allowing residential development if the metropolis is exceeding a specific threshold area.

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CEPT students’ aerotropolismodel to upgrade Surat airport