Operation of international flights from Madurai airport will begin within three to four months, according to P. Chidambaram, Union Home Minister.
Inaugurating a new terminal building of the airport, constructed at a cost of Rs. 129 crore, here on Sunday, Mr. Chidambaram said it would become an international airport “sooner than expected”.
Stating that a large number of people from Southern districts were travelling to Singapore, Malaysia and Dubai through Tiruchi and Chennai airports, he stressed the need to make Madurai an international terminal. He also wanted more flights to be operated from Madurai to Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkatta.
The investment made by the United Progressive Alliance government in infrastructure development in the country was more than that of made in the last five years. This was done keeping in view the country's higher growth of economy.
Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel promised to make Madurai an international airport if airlines showed interest to operate flights from Madurai to global destinations. The number of air passengers had increased 300 per cent in the last six years in the country, reflecting the economic growth rate.
He said that the Airports Authority of India was keen to help in promoting economic growth of Madurai by encouraging cargo transportation for the agriculture, industrial and service sectors. He assured that he would take steps to bring in more flight services to Madurai.
Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers M.K. Alagiri and Virudhunagar MP B. Manicka Tagore urged Mr. Chidambaram and Mr. Patel to take steps to operate flights to Singapore, Malaysia and Dubai.
State Minister, A. Tamilarasi, Chairman of Airports Authority of India V.P. Agrawal, Member (Planning), S. Raheja, Regional Executive Director, D. Devaraj, General Manager (Engineering-Projects), P.S.R.K. Sudhakar, Madurai Collector, C. Kamaraj, and Airport Controller, K. Sangiah Pandian, were present.
Keywords: Madurai airport