Saturday, September 15, 2012

Commercial flight operation soon: Civil aviation security officials visit airport

The much awaited launch of commercial flight operation from Puducherry airport, which is expected to boost tourism and other sectors, is all set to start soon.

As a prelude to the launch, a team of top officials from the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) visited the Puducherry airport on Thursday to put in place an effective security apparatus. It included physical barriers and structures, installation of requisite equipment, manpower requirements, the agency to be deployed for security and others. They held a lengthy discussion with the Puducherry airport authorities.

Though the airport, controlled by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), is classified as functioning airport, it is still now used only for operating charted flights. Besides the operation and handling of choppers, the airport is mainly used for movements of high profile VVIPs. Considering the immense potential for commercial operation, the Union Territory and the AAI had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding in 2007 for expansion of the airport in two phases. It was aimed at extending the runway up to 5,000 feet. Construction of passenger terminal, upgrading Air Traffic Control system, providing passenger amenities, night landing facilities, security friendly initiatives formed part of the plan.

A senior official of the Airport Authority of India told The Hindu that more than 90 per cent of the planned works had already been completed. The runway had been extended to 5,000 feet. “Hectic activities are on at the airport. Operation of commercial flights may become a reality within 3 months. All necessary works have been speeded up ,” the official said.

It was learnt that the Ministry of Civil Aviation had already given provisional clearance to operate flights from Puducherry airport.

Many airlines had completed study on economic viability of operating flight service from Puducherry to other destinations. Some of them had given green signal considering the domestic and international tourists to Puducherry .

Of them, sources added that Spicejet had almost finalised the plan to include Puducherry in its service coverage. It was initially expected to operate between Puducherry and Bangalore. The small aircraft with the seating capacity of 60 to 70 passengers was said to be fit for the route and the facilities available at Puducherry airport.


No comments:

Post a Comment