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Puducherry govt initiates efforts for all-weather airport, will try to acquire land from TN

In the first phase, the government will try to acquire 104 acres of land from Tamil Nadu and later 270 acres. Lakshminarayanan said he will call on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin in this regard.

Published: 28th July 2021 07:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th July 2021 08:01 PM   |  A+A-

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For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

PUDUCHERRY: The Puducherry government has kicked off efforts to convert Puducherry Airport into an all-weather airport as part of its initiatives for operation of more scheduled flights from the Union territory and revival of flights on existing routes.

PWD minister K Lakshminarayanan, who also holds the Tourism portfolio, held a review meeting with the director of the airport and other officials and made an inspection of the airport. He said that initially attempts will be made to get a temporary licence from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) by complying with the requirements to the extent possible.

Around 70 percent of the requirements for an all-weather airport have already been fulfilled and efforts are being made to fullfil all the requirements by providing land around the runway to an extent of 70 acres and by acquiring land from Tamil Nadu for extension of the runway. This is to ensure that flights are able to land as well as take off under all weather conditions as well as for operation of larger flights.

In some places in the runway near the sewage treatment plant and Navarkulam, since buildings have come up, only 90 metres of space is available from the centre of the runway, instead of the 140-metre requirement of a no-construction zone on both sides of the runway. The Puducherry government will provide the available land around the runway to AAI to fulfil the requirement to the extent possible and get a temporary licence. Later, after acquision of land from Tamil Nadu, the conditions for a 140-metre no-construction zone could be met by extending the runway, said Lakshminarayanan.

The present runway length of 1502 metres is planned to be extended to 3330 metres for operation of bigger crafts. In the first phase, the government will try to acquire 104 acres of land from Tamil Nadu and later 270 acres. Lakshminarayanan said he will call on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin in this regard as well as take the assistance of Villupuram Lok Sabha member D Ravi Kumar in holding a meeting with the Villupuram District Collector and officials of both Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to work out the land acquision.

Besides, to comply with other requirements of an all-weather airport, the height of trees and hoardings on the approach path of the aircraft near the Puducherry-Tindivanam highway will be reduced with the help of Villupuram district authorities, said Lakshminarayanan.

The other technical requirements like lighting will be taken care of by the Airport Authority of India. The facility for establishing night landing will also be taken up with DGCA, said Lakshminarayanan.

The operation of scheduled flights from Puducherry Airport by its only flight operator Spice Jet stopped in March 2020. Now flight operators IndiGo, Spice Jet, Air Alliance and Trujet have evinced interest in operating flights to places like Cochin and Salem as well as Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Invitations are being sent to the operators to participate in a meeting in this regard, he said.

Secretary PWD Vikrant Raja and Director Tourism P Priyartarshny were among the officials who participated.



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