G.K. Vasan's assurance on international connectivity

With the Madurai Airport looking set to get international connectivity, Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has taken on lease the Commercial Important Person (CIP) Lounge in the airport and has established modern facilities such as wi-fi connectivity.

Through a process of competitive bidding in which only trader bodies were eligible to take part, the TN Chamber has taken the CIP lounge, one of the only two lounges in the airport, on a lease from Airport Authority of India (AAI) for a period of five years.

Located adjacent to the VIP lounge, which is maintained by the AAI, the CIP lounge also features supply of snacks, soft drinks vending booth, television and rest room. With a seating capacity of 25, air liners could hire this lounge for the benefit of important business customers.

Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan, who dedicated the lounge for the use of passengers on Sunday, assured the trade body members that he would push for expeditious international connectivity for the Temple City.

Apart from having been declared as a ‘Customs Airport,' it also has a world-class high-tech integrated terminal built at a cost of Rs.130 crore. The runway has been extended to 7500 feet to facilitate introduction of international flights.

Chamber senior president S. Rethinavelu informed the Union Minister that there was lot of potential for both passenger and freight traffic for international flights from Madurai to Malaysia, Singapore, Muscat, Dubai, Sharjah and Sri Lanka. However, during chamber delegations to some of these countries, they were told by international air liners that, with the exception of Sri Lanka, Madurai Airport had not been included in the Bilateral Airport Treaties entered between India and those countries. This was preventing air line companies from operating international flights to Madurai Airport.

Mr. Vasan assured the Chamber that he would push for including Madurai in the treaties. B.S. Gnanadesikan, Member of Parliament and President of Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, K. Sankiah Pandiyan, Madurai Airport Director, N. Jegatheesan, chamber president, Dindigul MP N.S.V. Chithan and former Madurai MP A.G.S. Rambabu, were present.