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The Evolution of Airports Throughout History

TeamAckoMay 4, 2023

Airports are an amazing blend of technology and history. They’ve proven to be a valuable asset for both domestic and international travel. No other mode of transportation has had as much of a direct and influential impact on how people move about the world. To the modern traveler, airports may seem like an afterthought, but the truth is, these marvels of engineering are the result of centuries of innovation and adaptation. In today’s post, we will explore the world of airports and take a look at the history of their development and the huge role they have played in shaping the modern world of travel in India.




1. The Origin of Indian Airports

Though the history of Indian airports dates back to 1929, air travel had already existed in India before this time. Be it for mail delivery, or for low-cost, rapid transportation, business owners, monarchs, and their foreign guests were utilizing aircraft for their personal needs. It was only after the invention of the jet aircraft, that regular, commercial flights helping to transport the ever-growing number of passengers began on a large scale.

The first modern Indian airport came into being in 1932, in Sylhet, a city in what is now Bangladesh. The airport, known as the Sylhet Airfield was designed and built by the British to facilitate the needs of the British Military Officials in the region. Soon after, the Royal Indian Air Force set up airfields in other parts of the country, providing both passenger and military facilities. Subsequently, hundreds of airports were built all over India by various companies and local authorities, in order to provide transportation facilities to the people.

2. The Expansion of Indian Airports

In the 1950s, airports in India began to rapidly expand, leading to the modernization and improvement of the country's air infrastructure. The Indian government took the initiative of creating a large number of airfields in order to meet the growing need for air travel. The government invested heavily in the development of a large number of airports and by 1974, India had more than a hundred airports. In the years that followed, the number of airports in India kept on expanding, leading to the formation of many regional airports and jacks.

In the 2000s, the government of India initiated a process of modernizing the Indian airports and air traffic control system. This led to the expansion of many existing airports and the construction of plenty of new ones. The modernization process was carried out with the aim to keep in line with the international standards, while also providing more efficient and safe operations. As a result, India now has over a hundred airports along with all the necessary facilities and infrastructure in place, enabling it to get the most out of its air traffic system.

3. The Rise of International Airports in India

With the introduction of vast numbers of international airports, it became easy for people to visit other countries. India now boasts some of the top international airports like the Dr. Yogi Shivram International Airport in Cochin, the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai and the The Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. These airports have become the biggest centers of traffic, with millions of passengers traveling through them every year.

The Indira Gandhi International Airport is the largest of all the Indian airports, being spread across 1600 acres. It has 70 boarding gates and serves as a major hub for domestic and international flights. The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is the second largest and busiest in India, with a capacity to serve over 38 million passengers annually. As of today, India has a total of 11 international airports, which serve as major destinations for international travelers from all around the world.

In recent times, there has been a push towards modernizing the Indian airport systems. This has led to the development of new technological and structural developments, which have significantly improved the productivity and efficiency of air travel. Automated airport systems have been implemented in many Indian airports, which allow for faster and smoother operations. A number of airports have also implemented programs that utilize high tech surveillance and information systems, making passenger and baggage screening easier and more accurate than ever before. Apart from this, the infrastructure of many airports has also been improved, to give passengers a more pleasant experience.

The future of airports in India looks bright and the government is pushing towards even further modernization, with a focus on developing the latest in airport technologies. From electronic ticketing machines, facial recognition systems and automated baggage handling systems to integrated airport management systems and wireless technology, a lot of advancements in airport technology are being developed that are sure to make air travel more efficient, safe and enjoyable in the years to come.


Airports in India have come a long way since their humble beginnings and have majorly impacted the way we travel. From regular airfields to large international airports, the government and companies have put in immense effort to ensure that these marvels of engineering exist in their present form. With the ever-advancing technology, it is likely that airports will become even more efficient and technologically advanced in the future, proving their worth in the modern transportation industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to the most asked common questions related to the evolution of airport.


When did air travel become popular in India?

Air travel in India became popular in the 1950s when the government initiated a process of modernizing the Indian airports and air traffic control system.

How many airports are there in India?

There are currently over a hundred airports in India with eleven of them being international airports.

What technologies are being developed to further improve Indian airports?

High-tech surveillance and information systems, automated airport systems, electronic ticketing machines, facial recognition systems, automated baggage handling systems, integrated airport management systems, and wireless technologies are being developed to further improve Indian airports.


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