Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA)Address Shamshabad, Gollapalle Khurd, Telangana 501218, India
Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport opened in 2008 and replaced the city's old airport at Begumpet. The airport is one of the fastest growing in the world, with the number of passengers per year increasing from just over 6 million in 2009 to more than 21 million in 2019. This makes it the sixth busiest airport in India. Much of Hyderabad airport's international traffic comes from the Telugu diaspora in the United States of America, Middle East, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. Hyderabad is also an important economic center in India, with a large number of IT, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. The city's location in the geographic center of India is strategic as well.
A billion-dollar expansion plan is proposed to double the airport's capacity to 50 million passengers per year. It involves the construction of a new terminal, expansion of the existing terminal, and development of new runway and taxiways. A 1,500-acre "Airport City" business and retail park is also being built next to the airport.
Hyderabad airport is famously eco-friendly. In fact, it was the first airport in its category to win the ACI Asia-Pacific Level 3+ Airport Carbon Accreditation for carbon neutrality.
Airport Code, Location, and Contact Information
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (HYD), named after a former Indian Prime Minister, is about a 30-minute drive from the city center.
- Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is located 19 miles southwest of the city center in Shamshabad.
- Phone Number: +91 40 6654 6370
- Website: https://www.hyderabad.aero/traveller.aspx
- Flight Tracker: https://www.hyderabad.aero/flight-information.aspx
Know Before You Go
In addition to the main integrated domestic and international terminal (known as the Passenger Terminal Building), Hyderabad airport recently added an Interim International Departures Terminal (IIDT) and Interim Domestic Arrival Terminal (IDAT) to cater to the rapidly increasing passenger numbers. The airport also has a separate Haj Terminal that solely services pilgrims traveling to Mecca.
The Interim International Departures Terminal is situated next to the Haj Terminal and is an exclusive concourse for check-in, security, immigration, and customs for all departing international passengers. It's connected to the main terminal, where passengers will eventually end up after completing formalities, by escalators and elevators. A regular, free shuttle bus operates between the terminals for arriving passengers who are proceeding on to catch another international flight. Transit time is about 5 minutes.
The Interim Domestic Arrival Terminal is an exclusive baggage claim concourse primarily for passengers arriving from aircraft parked on remote stands. It provides four new baggage carousels to speed up baggage delivery, and is connected to the main passenger terminal by a corridor.
More than 20 passenger airlines fly in and out of Hyderabad airport. These include Air India, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad,alaysian Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines, IndiGo, and SpiceJet. The airport also services eight cargo airlines and is home to India's first modular, integrated cargo facility, which features a Pharma Zone with a temperature-controlled environment for pharmaceutical products.
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport may not be India's largest or busiest airport, but it is surprisingly high-tech. In 2019, it launched the country's first biometric face recognition facility for domestic flights, which eliminates the need for passengers to show boarding passes.
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport Parking
The airport parking lot has space for 3,000 vehicles, and can accommodate both short-term and long-term parking. It's located just outside the terminal and features a go-kart course for some pre-flight fun. Rates vary depending on vehicle size. Cars pay 50 rupees ($0.70 USD) for the first half-hour and up to 300 rupees ($4.22 USD) for 24 hours. Motorbikes pay 30 rupees for the first two hours and 100 rupees for 24 hours. The rate for multi-day parking is 300 rupees for every 24 hours. Discounted rates are available for people who use the go-kart course. There's a valet parking service available at the departure level, too.
Driving in India is not the simplest of feats. Tourists primarily stick to taxis, buses, and other forms of transportation. However, the trek from downtown Hyderabad to the airport takes about 35 minutes via National Highway 765. After about 5 miles, you'll see signs to Airport Approach Road.
Public Transportation and Taxis
One of the easiest ways to get to the city center from the airport is to take a government prepaid taxi, bookable at the counter in the arrivals area. Otherwise, you can opt for metered-taxi services such as Meru and Sky Cabs, which can be found in the parking area outside the terminal. Fares are not fixed and can range between 500 to 1,000 rupees, depending on the distance. Expect a 25-percent surcharge for night rides. You may also call an Uber or Ola if you're able to connect to the airport Wi-Fi on your phone. With these, drivers will collect you at the dedicated pickup zones, which are signposted.
Alternatively, Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) operates the Pushpak Airport Liner Express Bus Service, which transports passengers from the airport to many destinations across the city. It's luxurious by Indian standards —with air conditioning!—and costs between 100 and 250 rupees, depending on the distance. The buses depart every hour or half hour around the clock. A timetable is available here.
Where to Eat and Drink
Airport dining options include a food court, grab-and-go quick bites, and sit-down restaurants and bars. In domestic departures, the comfortable and quiet options include Network Bar, a cocktail lounge; Monsoon Bar, serving up Indian and Mediterranean cuisine; Taste of India; and Indian Paradise. The Island Café & Bar offers a similar atmosphere in the international departures area. There, you'll also find Bikanervala, a food court offering traditional Indian sweets and popular dishes, as well as Tiffin Express, Dosa Factory, and a number of coffee kiosks for your caffeine fix. The Airport Village, outside the arrivals area, also has food and beverage counters.
How to Spend Your Layover
It isn't too often that you're able to turn a boring old layover into a bonafide thrill ride, but thanks to Kartainment's go-kart course (located next to the airport car park), you can. Prices range from 335 to 700 rupees, depending on the "level" or how many laps you take.
If you'd have more time available and would prefer to relax at a hotel, the Novotel Hyderabad Airport is located only 5 minutes from the terminal. A shuttle service is provided.
Hyderabad airport has Plaza Premium lounges in the international and domestic departures areas. The lounges are open 24 hours. Facilities include a business center, buffet and drinks bar, showers, massage, and first aid. You may purchase single-use passes or use your membership card to access the lounges. Plaza Premium Lounge also operates a transit hotel at the airport but it closed temporarily in November 2019 while the airport undergoes expansion.
Wi-Fi and Charging Stations
Wi-Fi is free for the first two hours, but only those who have an Indian cell phone number are able to receive a PIN number via text to use it. There's also an on-demand entertainment service that allows passengers to download movies at designated hotspots. Passengers shouldn't have a problem locating a charging point around this airport, either.
Airport Tips and Tidbits
- Visitors, who are waiting to receive passengers, can purchase a ticket to enter the Airport Village outside the arrivals area. The cost is 20 rupees.
- Tickets to enter the departures area, for visitors who are not flying out, cost 100 rupees.
- Inexpensive dormitory accommodations are available at the airport's Passenger Transportation Center.
- Hyderabad is one of only four cities (including Mumbai, Bangalore, and Navi Mumbai) that has CarterX, a convenient door-to-door baggage transfer service that will transport heavy luggage between the airport and your hotel so you don't have to.