PUDUCHERRY: The revival of flights from Puducherry airport is awaiting completion of the new terminal building at the Puducherry airport by August. Besides additional power connections for the new terminal, night landing facilities are required. Chief Minister N Rangasamy and Tourism Minister P Rajavelu who visited the airport and inspected the facilities said that the Ministry of Civil Aviation has recently given a provisional licence for a year to operate flights from the airport. He agreed to provide required power connections.
Some airline operators like Spicejet and Jet airways have evinced interest and would visit the airport on completion of works, Rajavelu told Express.
They would hold discussions with the government for flight operations. Flight operations to Bangalore, Hyderabad, Cochin, Madurai and Goa on ATR 72 could be viable, he said.
The runway at the airport has recently been expanded to 1,503 metres to enable landing of ATR aircraft.
Ground support facilities as well as night landing facilities have been installed, though the electricity department is yet to provide power connection, Airport Authority of India sources said.
However, the new terminal building which can handle around 150 passengers would be ready by August.
The Airport Authority of India had taken up the first phase of expansion at an expense of `56 crore.
Of the total amount `19 crore have been contributed by the Puducherry government, including the land.
Once the terminal building is ready and electricity connection is given, the government will call flight operators and hold discussions with them.
In phase II of the expansion project, extension of the runway by an additional 1,100 metres has been planned to facilitate larger aircraft, by acquiring another 200 acres of adjacent land in Tamil Nadu.
The Puducherry administration has approached the Tamil Nadu government.
The Villupuram Collector has recently responded to the Puducherry government’s request and wanted the government to specify the exact requirement.
Once the Ministry of Civil Aviation gives technical approval for phase II, the exact requirement of land would be conveyed to the Villupuram Collector, Director of Tourism A S Sivakumar told Express.
The Puducherry Airport is expected to be highly viable for nearby areas.
It would serve not only Puducherry but also neighbouring regions of Cuddalore, Neyveli, Villupuram, Tindivanam, with a lot of industrialisation and urbanisation taking place. Besides it could serve as a second airport for Chennai.
The scope for air cargo is good, with `209 crore worth cargo from Puducherry.
The computer industry (Lenevo, Wipro, HCL and others) and the leather industry (Hidesign and others) use the Chennai air cargo for their business.