The Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has requested the Union Civil Aviation Minister to establish an Aeronautic University in Madurai, which has clear weather round the year and a large number of engineering colleges in vicinity.

A delegation comprising Chamber senior president S. Rethinavelu and other office-bearers submitted a memorandum of demands to the Union Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel at New Delhi recently.

Mr. Rethinavelu said isolated flying clubs and institutions were few and far in between and meet only a minuscule part of the requirement. The liberalisation of the sector and the open sky policy had created a need for over 2,000 pilots by 2010.

The sophistication and expanding role of domestic and international air travel had also created a need for standardisation of training syllabus, specific time frame and quality control. He said that Madurai was an ideal place as it was away from the busy air corridors.

Customs airport

The Chamber has also requested the Union Minister to declare immediately the Madurai Airport as Customs Airport. Such a move would boost industrial growth in the economically-backward regions of southern Tamil Nadu, he said.

“The only hiccup for Madurai Airport in getting international connectivity is the declaration of it as Customs Airport… Absence of international connectivity at Madurai has been retarding the industrial and economic

growth in southern districts,” he said.

Delhi service

Mr. Rethinavelu also called for the introduction of daily air service between Madurai and New Delhi. Such a service would receive good patronage as trade, industrial and official travel between the two cities were increasing in recent times.