Logistics

Vizag airport waiting for 24-hour operations, flights

Our Bureau Visakhapatnam | Updated on November 18, 2011 Published on November 18, 2011

Ready for takeoff: A file photo of passengers at the new terminal of Visakhapatnam airport   -  Business Line

Visakhapatnam airport is still waiting for 24-hour operations and flights, even though all the required infrastructure has been put in place - a modern terminal building, a 10,000-feet runway, customs and immigration facilities and night landing facilities.

There has been an impressive growth in traffic for the past few years and interest is being evinced by some international airlines.

Yet, round-the-clock operations have not become a reality. It is a necessary pre-requisite for international airlines to start operations here.

blame-games

For the past three years or so, different departments have been blaming one another for the delay in the introduction of 24-hour operations.

The local people's representatives are not very vocal on the issue. A few airline operators have made surveys and have expressed their willingness to operate direct flights to Singapore and Dubai from Visakhapatnam.

The Indian Navy, manning the air traffic control (ATC), says that it is ready for 24-hour operations, provided the airline operators come up with a written consent.

But the airline operators say they can plan their operations only after introduction of 24-hour operations. The issue has not been resolved.

passenger woes

In the absence of direct flights, passengers are forced to waste a day during their stopover in Chennai, Hyderabad or Kolkata to catch a connecting flight.

Apart from international travellers, even passengers who travel on business to the metro cities in the country prefer to return by night flights after completing their work instead of wasting time and money for the overnight stay. “A meeting is being held in Hyderabad soon to project Visakhapatnam as an international destination. We have sought extension of the Dubai-Hyderabad Jet Airways flight to Visakhapatnam,” the Airport Director, Mr K. Srinivasa Rao, said.

Published on November 18, 2011
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