A direct flight from here to Singapore is planned from October 1 by SilkAir and even the flight schedule has been released, but still, there are unresolved issues casting a shadow over the proposed air-link.

For one thing, there are no 24-hour operations at the Visakhapatnam airport even though the infrastructure for the night-landing of aircraft has been made ready a long time ago.

The airport functions from 8 a.m to 8 p.m and the operations should be extended by at least 3 hours, if SilkAir were to operate the flight from here to Singapore.

The airport is under the operational control of the Navy and the lack of adequate staff has been cited as one of the main reasons.

The efforts of the two associations of air travellers in Visakhapatnam and also of local legislators have not yielded any results so far.

The President of Visakhapatnam Air Travellers' Association (VATA), Mr Ch. Ramakotaiah, said the association had sent a request to the Eastern Naval Command to extend the working hours by at least 3 and that would pave the way for the direct flight to Singapore.

Subsequently, the 24-hour operations issue could be resolved. He expressed the confidence and hope that the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command, Vice-Admiral Anil Chopra, would respond positively and there would be no hitch.

Mr O. Naresh Kumar, the Chief Executive Officer of Symbiosys, a local IT company, and an office-bearer of the association, said it would be a great step forward for Visakhapatnam, as more investment could be attracted into the region with international air connectivity.

Roadshow: Changi airport (Singapore) authorities are planning to organise a roadshow in the city from July 24 to 26 for the benefit of air travellers in the region.


(This article was published on July 10, 2012)
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