What comes to mind when you think Indian airports? Old, dirty, busy, crowded and dimly lit; rusted baggage trolleys with slow noisy luggage belts. But the new airport in Mumbai will change that image forever. It’s big, beautiful and very functional. With its white marble floors, modern look, currency exchange and rent-a-car counters, uniformed staff, clean toilets and shopping areas, it compares well with some of the best airports in Asia. When you come outside, the organized lanes for cars, auto rickshaws and taxis further surprise you.
The entire departure area has free wifi internet access for Airtel (India’s leading mobile network) subscribers. And there are cyber cafes, bookshops, coffee shops, restaurants and a few branded goods shops. The air-conditioning actually works unlike the old airport. This revamp is part of a mega project to be completed in 2010 when international and domestic terminals will be combined into one, current domestic terminal will become a dedicated cargo terminal, and the airport will cater to 40 million passengers and one million metric tons of cargo per year!
A big sign at the entrance to arrival halls reads: “Be the change you want to see” (Mahatma Gandhi).