Here’s how a famous saying goes – “Life is a journey, not a destination”! And ardent travellers appreciate the truth of it like no one else. A comfortable, safe and enjoyable journey is what makes a trip truly memorable. Else, no matter how breathtaking the destination is, an unpleasant journey will stick in your mind like a sore thumb. Luckily, India has quite a few efficient and aesthetic airports that promise to make your journeys a cakewalk. Some are known for their impressive facilities, some for their visual appeal, and some for their jaw-dropping locations. So, read on to know more about the best airports in India

1. Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi (Code – DEL)

Beautifully planned, sprawling (5106 acres), and bustling at all times, Indira Gandhi International Airport is undoubtedly one of the best international airports in India. It is served by around 80 airlines and has a total of 5 terminals, including the ones for cargo and chartered flights. Air India, IndiGo, GoAir, SpiceJet and Vistara are among the popular domestic airlines that have their hub here. A special Airport Collaborative Decision Making system is used to regulate takeoffs and landings in a timely manner. Apart from its tasteful aesthetics, this international airport offers plenty of amenities for a relaxed experience including sleeping pods, both casual and upscale dining joints, shopping outlets of some of the best domestic and international brands, and cab services. The airport is well-connected to all parts of the city. 

  • Location: Palam
  • Distance from city centre: 16 km
  • Good to know: 
    • By 2030, it is expected to handle around 100 million passengers.
    • In 2015, at the Skytrax World Airport Awards, it was awarded The Best Airport in Central Asia and Best Airport Staff in Central Asia. 
    • In 2017, along with Mumbai Airport, it was recognised as the “World’s Best Airport” at Airport Service Quality Awards.  
    • As far as passenger traffic is concerned, this airport is the busiest in India, 6th busiest in Asia and 17th busiest in the world. 

Also Read: 10 Busiest Airports in India

2. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai (Code – BOM)

The second busiest airport in India, in terms of both passenger and cargo traffic, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is a hub for Vistara and Air India. It is also a focus point for IndiGo, Air India Express, SpiceJet and GoAir. Spread over 1850 acres of land, the airport has 3 terminals and witnesses about 950 aircraft movements daily. While Terminal 1 is dedicated to domestic flights and located in Santacruz, Terminal 2 is meant for both domestic and international flights and situated in Sahar. A drive of around 15-20 minutes takes you from one terminal to another. Terminal 2 is famed for its luxurious GVK Lounge for business and first class travellers. It offers everything from a bar, shower area and fine dining options to a library, business centre and concierge services. Terminal 1 has plenty of eateries, shopping outlets and medical services too. It is easy to hire cabs or board a bus from outside the airport to reach any part of the city. 

  • Location: Vile Parle East
  • Distance from city centre: 8 km
  • Good to know: 
    • In 2014, a 6-lane and elevated road, which links Terminal 2 with the Western Express Highway, was opened for public use. 
    • On 9th December, 2018, the airport handled as many as 1007 aircraft movements. 
    • In 2017, along with Delhi Airport, it was recognized as the “World’s Best Airport” at Airport Service Quality Awards.

Also Read: 6 Things to do at Mumbai Airport to Make your Layover Less Boring

3. Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore (Code – BLR)

A hub for AirAsia India, GoAir, IndiGo, Alliance Air and Star Air, as well as a focus city for SpiceJet and Air India, Kempegowda International Airport sees a lot of hustle-bustle throughout the year. In fact, it is the third busiest airport in India and has a staggering area of 4000 acres. The single passenger terminal here handles both international and domestic activities efficiently. The construction of a second terminal is underway. All departure gates are on the first floor, while baggage reclaim and check-in are on the ground floor. Lounges and a day hotel ensure maximum comfort for travellers. Kempegowda International Airport is also a great place to shop for global brands and tickle your taste buds at one of the stylish cafes or restaurants. The airport connects with Bangalore city via NH44, and you can take a bus or cab.   

  • Location: Devanahalli 
  • Distance from city centre: 35 km
  • Good to know:  
    • Gate 41-42 serves Airbus A380, the largest passenger aircraft in the world.
    • A Namma Metro link has been planned to connect the airport with Bangalore city. 
    • The VIP lounge is 10,000 sq. ft. in area.

Also Read: Interesting Things to Do at Bangalore Airport During Flight Delays

4. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata (Code – CCU)

Boasting an area of 1641 acres, this airport is the largest air traffic hub in Eastern India. In terms of passenger traffic, it is the fifth busiest in the country, and flights to Northeast India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Southeast Asia, China, Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi depart regularly from here. The Kolkata Airport is among the oldest Indian airports and a hub for GoAir, AirAsia India, IndiGo, Alliance Air and SpiceJet. It is a focus city for Air India. The integrated Terminal T2 here is capable of handling 25 million passengers every year, and has 6 levels, 128 check-in counters, 18 aerobridges and 57 remote parking bays. Lounges, retiring rooms, ATMs, retail shops and eating joints are some of the facilities. To reach the city centre, you can easily board an AC bus or hire a prepaid taxi from outside the airport. 

  • Location: Dum Dum 
  • Distance from city centre: 15 km
  • Good to know:  
    • Earlier known as Dum Dum Airport, it was renamed after the prominent Indian independence leader in 1995. 
    • It was recognised as the Best Improved Airport in the Asia-Pacific region in 2014 and 2015, by the Airport Council International.

Also Read: Things to do in Kolkata

5. Sheikh Ul-Alam International Airport, Srinagar (Code – SXR)

Situated at a height of 1655m and owned by the Airports Authority of India and the Indian Air Force, the Srinagar Airport is essentially a military airbase. It has one runway for slim jets and an integrated terminal. The terminal, designed to mimic the majestic Himalayas, can cater to 450 international and 500 domestic passengers. The slope of the roof makes it easy to remove snow. Travellers can look forward to facilities like a food court, popular food joints like Pizza Hut and KFC, ATMs, shops for handicrafts and chocolates, and currency exchange. You can use the Wi-Fi as well. To reach the city, you can hire a taxi or avail the paid bus service till Lal Chowk. 

  • Location: Badgam 
  • Distance from city centre: 12 km
  • Good to know:  
    • Since April 2020, the airport hasn’t received any international flight, though Hajj flights were operated.   
    • Since June 2020, night operations have not been handled by the airport.

6. Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh (Code – IXL)

If a scenic landing is on your mind, the Leh Airport, at an elevation of 3256 m and offering uninterrupted views of the Himalayas, will make you sit up and take note. This is among the most beautiful airports in India and the world’s 23rd highest commercial airport too. Here, all flights land and take off during the morning. This is ensured to avoid the gusty mountain winds that blow later in the day. Patrolled by the Indian Army, security is stringent at this single-terminal airport. Air India, IndiGo, GoAir, Vistara and SpiceJet flights operate to and from Delhi, Srinagar, Jammu and Chandigarh. Baggage services, tea and coffee counters as well as restaurants are available here. You can take a bus or taxi from outside the airport to reach the city.   

  • Location: Leh
  • Distance from city centre: 5 km
  • Good to know:  
    • Its name is inspired by a famous Indian monk, and the widely acclaimed Spituk Monastery is very close to the airfield. 
    • The construction of a new terminal, which commenced in 2019, is expected to get completed by 2021.   

7. Chennai International Airport, Chennai (Code – MAA)

Want to know something interesting? The Chennai International Airport was the first Indian airport to feature the domestic and international terminals side by side. With an area of 1323 acres, this airport is the regional headquarters (in South India) of the Airports Authority of India. It is the fourth busiest airport in the country, with 3 passenger terminals. Terminal 1 is used for domestic flights and Terminal 3 is reserved for international arrivals. International flights depart from Terminal 4. The parking lot can house around 1200 cars. The airlines serving it include Alliance Air, IndiGo, SpiceJet, Air India, Air India Express and GoAir. You can enjoy facilities like duty free shops, restaurants, bars, vending machines, luggage carts and currency exchange. This airport is connected to the city via the Chennai Metro and Tirusulam Railway Station. You can find prepaid taxis too.      

  • Location: Tirusulam 
  • Distance from city centre: 21 km
  • Good to know:  
    • It is expected to become the first Indian airport with a satellite terminal, once the construction is complete. 
    • The international and domestic terminals are named after Tamil Nadu ministers, C. N. Annadurai and K. Kamaraj. 
    • A vertical garden worth INR 400 million can be seen here, and it boasts around 40 plant varieties. 

Also Read: What to do when you have a delayed flight or long layover at Chennai Airport

8. Veer Savarkar International Airport, Port Blair (Code – IXZ)

Once known as the Port Blair Airport, it was renamed after the famous freedom fighter Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in 2002. The chief airport of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, it shares airside facilities with Indian Navy’s INS Utkrosh. The gorgeous green expanses surrounding the airfield make for a picturesque landing here. A single runway, 3290 m in length, can handle narrow-body aircrafts, including Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 and A321. There is one terminal here to accommodate 400 passengers. Air India, IndiGo, GoAir, SpiceJet and Vistara flights operate between this airport and Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad. It is easy to hire a cab from here to get around.      

  • Location: Lamba Line
  • Distance from city centre: 2 km
  • Good to know:  
    • Except for the civilian terminal, which is managed by the AAI, other air traffic operations are carried out by the Indian Navy.
    • A new terminal building of about 19 acres is expected to come up. 

9. Cochin International Airport, Kochi (Code – COK)

Offering lush green views at the time of descent, the Cochin International Airport is the largest and busiest of its kind in Kerala. It is also the eighth busiest and among the best international airports in India. It features three terminals, two for domestic and one for international passengers. Terminal 1 (domestic) boasts 56 counters for check-in, 1 executive lounge, 6 reserve lounges, a food court and a shopping area of 50,000 sq. ft. Terminal 2 (executive) has a premium and family lounge as well as a food court. Terminal 3 (international) steals the show with its traditional Kerala architectural style, and has 84 check-in and 80 immigration counters. Some of the facilities include VIP lounges, shopping complex, prayer rooms, smoking lounge, restaurants, and so on. Indian airlines that operate from here are Air India, Air India Express, AirAsia, IndiGo, SpiceJet and Vistara. The airport is also an important departure point for expats working in the Middle East. Hiring taxis to reach the city is easy from here. Special air taxi services are offered to those who wish to visit major pilgrimages in Kerala.        

  • Location: Nedumbassery 
  • Distance from city centre: 25 km
  • Good to know:  
    • It became the first completely solar powered airport in the world in 2015. 
    • In 2018, it received the Champion of the Earth Award from the United Nations.

10. Agatti Airport, Lakshadweep (Code – AGX)

If you are flying to Lakshadweep (no matter which island you have on your mind), the Agatti Airport’s location ensures you get a unique visual treat when the flight descends. One of the most beautiful airports in India, it is spread over 45.9 acres of land (which is significantly lesser than the areas enjoyed by other airports). This airport is surrounded by dazzling blue waters, which will take your breath away. The single runway is 1204 m in length and the terminal building can accommodate only 50 passengers at the most. Alliance Air connects this island with Bangalore and Kochi. You can hire a cab from the outside of the airport to reach the city.  

  • Location: Agatti Island
  • Distance from city centre: 17 km
  • Good to know:
    • A 2250 sq. m. terminal building with air conditioning is expected to be constructed.  
    • A parking area that can house around 75 cars is on the cards too.

11. Coimbatore International Airport, Coimbatore (Code – CJB)

Being the second largest airport in Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore International Airport is served by 3 foreign and 5 domestic airlines that offer direct connection to 3 international and 9 domestic destinations. These include SriLankan Airlines, Air Arabia, Scoot, Air India, Air India Express, GoAir, IndiGo, and SpiceJet. A 2970m runway and 9 parking bays are the infrastructural highlights here. A single terminal handles both domestic and international passengers smoothly, and facilities like ATMs, disabled services, child care room, luggage carts and medical services add to the convenience of travellers. Hiring a taxi on the outside is the best way to reach the city.     

  • Location: Peelamedu
  • Distance from city centre: 10 km
  • Good to know:  
    • A new terminal building for domestic departure and with an area of 10,000 sq. ft. is likely to be constructed.  
    • The runway is likely to be extended to 3800m, so as to accommodate bigger aircrafts. 

  12. Goa International Airport, Goa (Code – GOI)

As the only international airport in Goa, a paradise for beach lovers in India and abroad, the Dabolim Airport handles a large number of passengers every year. In fact, in 2019-20, it saw around 8.36 million passengers! Seasonally, quite a few European charter airlines fly to this airport, bringing in international tourists. With an area of 1700 acres to boast, this airport has an integrated terminal building to cater to domestic and international passengers. The interiors are pretty swanky, with generous glazing and trendy steel accents. There are plenty of check-in and immigration counters for your convenience. Domestic carriers like IndiGo, Air India, GoAir, SpiceJet, and Vistara operate here. To head to the city, you can simply hire a prepaid taxi from the airport.  

  • Location: Dabolim 
  • Distance from city centre: 30 km (from Panjim) 
  • Good to know:  
    • A second airport is under construction at Mopa and is expected to be completed by 2022. 

Recommended Read: Reasons to Visit Goa in Monsoon 

13. Jaipur International Airport, Jaipur (Code – JAI)

Though this airport serves a city steeped in rich history and heritage, it is an ultramodern affair on its own. Since the new terminal building (Terminal 2) can cater to a maximum number of 1000 passengers at a time, the airport stays quite busy. Terminal 1, once reserved for international flights, now handles cargo and Hajj flights only. However, once its renovation is complete, it will most likely take care of international arrivals and departures. With an area of 247,000 sq. ft., Terminal 2 handles both domestic and international passengers as of now. Its entrance gate, built with Dholpur stones and sandstones, is a stunner. The walls are decked with traditional Rajasthani paintings. To ensure utmost comfort, 3 VIP lounges are available here. While Jaipur International Airport is a hub for Supreme Airlines, it is a focus city for IndiGo, GoAir and SpiceJet. To reach the city, you can hire a cab from here.     

  • Location: Sanganer
  • Distance from city centre: 13 km 
  • Good to know:  
    • Terminal 2 is likely to be expanded by 20 m on each side and might get 2 new aerobridges for easier movement. 
    • A third terminal with state-of-the-art facilities is also on the cards and is likely to be 7 times Terminal 2 in size. 

Historical places in and around Jaipur

14. Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneswar (Code – BBI)

Named after a renowned freedom fighter and aviator, this airport connects with cities like Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad via carriers like Air India, GoAir, AirAsia India, IndiGo and Vistara. Terminal 1 (196,300 sq. ft.), dedicated to domestic passengers, boasts 4 aerobridges, 18 check-in counters, a spa, and a variety of lounges. You will find many handicraft outlets, gift shops and food kiosks here. This eco-friendly terminal is designed for rainwater harvesting and sewage treatment, while the decoration banks on tribal designs and ethnic sculptures for a unique look. Terminal 2 (67,430 sq. ft.), meant for international passengers, features 10 immigration and 6 check-in counters. It is easy to hire a cab from the airport to reach any part of the city.    

  • Location: Aerodrome Area
  • Distance from city centre: 6 km 
  • Good to know:
    • Terminal 3 is expected to be a 695,900 sq. ft. affair and should be able to accommodate 8 million passengers yearly, once completed. 
    • This is India’s 16th busiest airport. 

15.  Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad (Code – HYD)

The sixth busiest airport in India when it comes to passenger traffic, Rajiv Gandhi International Airport has a single passenger terminal, a solar power plant, a fuel farm and even aviation training facilities. Apart from being a focus city for Air India, Vistara, GoAir and AirAsia India, it acts as a hub for IndiGo, SpiceJet, TruJet and Alliance Air. It serves 45 domestic and 18 international destinations. Sprawled over 5495 acres, the Hyderabad International Airport can handle 12 million passengers annually. The eastern side of the integrated terminal caters to domestic operations, while the western side is meant for international flights. Both VIP and public lounge facilities are available here. You can hire a cab or catch a TSRTC bus outside the airport to reach the city.  

  • Location: Shamshabad
  • Distance from city centre: 24 km 
  • Good to know:  
    • The airport has featured on the list of world’s top 10 airports by AirHelp. 
    • Novotel Hyderabad Airport hotel is just 3.5 km away. 

So, tell us which airports caught your eye and where do you plan to fly next! Let the list of the best airports in India guide your choice for a relaxed and hassle-free travel experience. 

Further Read: Things to Do at Hyderabad Airport to Make Time Fly