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Updated: September 7, 2009 19:40 IST

Flights to Salem from October 25

P. Oppili
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An aerial view of the Salem airport. File photo: P.Goutham
The Hindu An aerial view of the Salem airport. File photo: P.Goutham

Operation of scheduled flights to Salem airport will begin from October 25.

Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials said that the Director General of Civil Aviation has given its approval on August 24 this year.

A senior AAI officer said the airport has a terminal building with a capacity to handle 100 passengers. The runway length is nearly 6,035 feet. A VHF communication system and a standby facility are also available at the airport. With the available runway ATR type aircraft could be operated from this Tier-II city.

The airport could cater to passengers from half a dozen districts, including Dharmapuri, Erode, Karur, Krishnagiri and Namakkal besides Salem. AAI authorities said the airport would attract nearly 3,000 to 5,000 passengers a month.

Kingfisher airlines will start the operations on October 25. The first flight from Chennai to Salem will leave from Chennai airport at 2.50 p.m. and will reach Salem in about an hour’s time. The return flight will take off from Salem at 4.20 p.m. and reach Chennai at 5.20 p.m. At present a couple of non-scheduled aircraft use the facility, said AAI authorities.

Another AAI officer said that the State police had to provide security cover to the airport. While two security personnel man the airport now, the airport would require nearly 36 personnel when scheduled flights commence. Similarly, the local administration authorities should take up the work of creating awareness among the people residing in and around to avoid any untoward incidents during aircraft movement.

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