Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport

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Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport
Vns .jpg
Airport typePublic
OwnerGovernment of India
OperatorAirports Authority of India
ServesVaranasi, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Sonbhadra, Mirzapur, Bhadohi, Jaunpur, Azamgarh
LocationVaranasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
Elevation AMSL266 ft / 81 m
Coordinates25°27′08″N 082°51′34″E / 25.45222°N 82.85944°E / 25.45222; 82.85944Coordinates: 25°27′08″N 082°51′34″E / 25.45222°N 82.85944°E / 25.45222; 82.85944
VNS is located in Uttar Pradesh
VNS is located in India
Direction Length Surface
m ft
09/27 2,745 9,006 Asphalt
Statistics (April 2018 - March 2019)
Passenger2,785,015 (Increase 33.4%)
Aircraft Movements21,818 (Increase 39.3%)
Cargo Tonnage2,657 (Increase 123.3%)
International Passenger198,704 (Increase 31.6%)
Source: AAI[1][2][3]

Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport (IATA: VNS, ICAO: VEBN) is a public airport located at Babatpur,[4] 26 km (16 mi) northwest of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India. Formerly known as Varanasi Airport, it was officially renamed after Lal Bahadur Shastri, the 2nd Prime Minister of India, in October 2005,[5] it is India's 21st-busiest airport in terms of passenger movement and second-busiest airport in Uttar Pradesh.


A small terminal existed until 2012 at a distance of 300 meters from the current terminal; the old terminal had two luggage belt and 6 check-in counters. The capacity of the old terminal was less than 200 passengers an hour and hence the need for a new terminal. On 6 July 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a statue of Lal Bahadur Shashtri situated at the Airport.


The airport features a single asphalt runway bearing 09/27, it is 9,006 feet (2,745 m) in length, with turnarounds on both ends, and two exits to the main apron. A third, seldom-used exit leads to an isolated apron for use in emergency.

Replica of varanasi ghats at varanasi airport
Replica of Varanasi ghats at Varanasi Airport
Air India Express aircraft at Varanasi Airport


An integrated terminal serves both domestic and international flights, with a floor-area of 26,000 square metres (280,000 square feet), it can process 500 passengers at any given time. The terminal features 16 check-in counters with CUTE (common-user terminal equipment), four immigration counters that double up as emigration counters, two aero-bridges to cater to narrow-body aircraft such as Airbus A320 family and Boeing 737 family; and two baggage-claim belts. Besides an upper-level seating area for the aero-bridge gates, the terminal features a ground-level gate to reach other aircraft on the apron on foot, or via shuttle bus; the apron can simultaneously park five narrow-body aircraft. The waiting area features essential services for the passengers, besides snack stalls, a travellers' convenience store, a bookstore with a newsstand, and stores selling merchandise indigenous to Varanasi, such as Banarasi Saris; and a VIP waiting lounge.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Air India Agra, Chennai, Colombo, Dehradun, Delhi, Gaya, Khajuraho, Kolkata, Mumbai[6] [7]
Air India Express Sharjah[8]
Buddha Air Kathmandu [9]
IndiGo Ahmedabad, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Bengaluru, Chennai (Begins 27 October 2019)[10], Delhi, Gaya, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai[11]
Malindo Air Kuala Lumpur–International[12]
SpiceJetAhmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Mumbai[13]
SriLankan Airlines Colombo
Thai AirAsia Bangkok–Don Mueang (begins 25 November 2019)[14]
Thai Smile Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi[15]
Vistara Delhi, Khajuraho (begins 5 November 2019), Mumbai[16] [17]

Top destinations[edit]

Busiest domestic routes from VNS (2018)[18]
Rank City Passengers Carriers
1 Delhi 993,161 Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet, Vistara
2 Mumbai 486,326 Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet, Vistara
3 Hyderabad 335,312 IndiGo, SpiceJet
4 Bangalore 181,065 IndiGo, SpiceJet
5 Kolkata 119,783 Air India, IndiGo, SpiceJet

Future plans[edit]

Due to increasing passenger traffic and aircraft movements, Airport Authority of India decided to extend the runway up to 4,075m from 2,750m; the runway will be first of its kind having National Highway (NH 31) under the airport runway. An underpass will be constructed for the expansion of the airport’s runway so that large cargo planes and passenger planes can land;[19] the airport is also in the race to become India's first airport with a facial recognition system under the government's digiYatra Scheme.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Traffic News for the month of March 2018: Annexure-III" (PDF). Airports Authority of India. 1 May 2018. p. 4. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Traffic News for the month of March 2018: Annexure-II" (PDF). Airports Authority of India. 1 May 2018. p. 4. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Varanasi". Airports Authority of India. Archived from the original on 29 June 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  5. ^ "Varanasi Airport renamed". Press Information Bureau, Government of India. 20 October 2005.. It acquired its position in India's major airports after more than 1.5 million passengers used the airport in 2017.
  6. ^ "Time Table".
  7. ^ "Air India to begin Varanasi-Dehradun flights from September 28". India TV. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Express Route Map and Schedule - Air India Express".
  9. ^ "Flight Routes - Buddha air - Buddha Air is one of the leading airlines company in Nepal".
  10. ^ "New Flights of IndiGo". IndiGo. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  11. ^ "Flight schedules".
  12. ^ "Malindo Air NS19 International service changes as of 18 FEB 19". Routesonline. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  13. ^ "SpiceJet's Flights Schedule & Information for Domestic & International Flight". Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  14. ^ "Thai AirAsia to launch Varanasi to Bangkok flights from November 2019". AirAsia Newsroom. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Thai Smile Bookings".
  16. ^ "Vistara Flight Destinations (Network) in India - Route Map".
  17. ^ "Vistara adds Khajuraho flights". Vistara. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
  18. ^ Statistics - Directorate General of Civil Aviation (India) 8 March 2018
  19. ^ "UP airport 1st to have national highway under runway - Times of India". The Times of India.
  20. ^ "Another feather in the cap for Air India, first class passengers complain about bedbugs on international flight". Business Insider.

External links[edit]

Media related to Varanasi Airport at Wikimedia Commons