Religious tourism is all set to get a massive boost. Saibaba devotees will soon be able to fly directly to Shirdi, as the Maharashtra government has approved construction of an airport at the pilgrimage centre.
The airport is scheduled to come up at Kakadi village, around 15 kilometres from Shirdi in Ahmednagar district. The projected cost is in the range of Rs264 crore ($63 million), and the project is to be executed by the Maharashtra Airport Development Company, as a public private partnership (PPP).
Acquisition of around 400 hectares of land needed for the airport will soon be started by the Ahmednagar Collector. For now, Aurangabad, 144 kilometres, or 90 miles away, remains the nearest airport.
Other than that, the only airlink to the holy city is a Jagson Airlines 26-seater helicopter service that connects Mumbai and Shirdi with a daily service.