Various trade and industry association representatives, including some political functionaries from the southern districts, staged a demonstration in front of the Madurai airport on Friday, demanding its inclusion in bilateral airport treaties.

Led by the members of Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry here, the protesters said that even after investing over Rs. 125 crore on upgrading the airport infrastructure, many international airlines were unable to operate direct flights to Madurai airport only because it was not included in the bilateral treaties.

The Civil Aviation Ministry had rejected requests made by Singapore and Abu Dhabi to operate direct flights from Madurai.

Without good air connectivity, what was the use of having a modern airport, the protesters wondered.

The agitators, led by Chamber senior president S. Rethinavelu, urged the Members of Parliament from Tamil Nadu to impress upon the Centre to include Madurai airport in the bilateral treaties.

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