Staff Reporter

Writes to Defence Minister seeking his intervention

  • Janardhan Reddy urges Defence Minister to visit city at the earliest
  • Introduction of Air India Express flights to the Gulf sought

    VISAKHAPATNAM: Former Chief Minister and Visakhapatnam MP N. Janardhan Reddy has sought the intervention of Minister for Defence A.K. Antony for a joint inspection of the expanded runway at Visakhapatnam by the Navy, Director General of Civil Aviation and the Airports Authority of India and the round-the-clock air traffic control (ATC) services by the Navy for the operation of international services. In a letter to Mr. Antony, he said expansion of the 10,000-ft-long runway was physically completed and the commissioning of Instrument Landing System (ILS) and joint inspection was awaited for the expanded runway to be operational. He requested the Minister to see to it that the joint inspection and provision of ATC services were completed by March 8 so that bigger aircraft like Airbus 300 can start operating immediately. He urged the Minister to visit the city and inaugurate the new runway by March 10.

    ILS system

    In a separate letter to Minister of State for Civil Aviation Praful Patel, Mr. Janardhan Reddy wanted immediate action to be taken for the calibration of ILS system, inspection by the DGCA and round-the-clock operation of the airport by March 10. He said the north coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh and the southern parts of Orissa would immensely benefit by the introduction of new domestic and international air services. Several airlines were keen on operating round-the-clock immediately after putting the runway to use. Some airlines had already submitted proposals to the DGCA, he said. He sought the Minister's help in introducing new international services by extending current flights of Indian operating to Bangkok, Singapore and Kaula Lumpur from Hyderabad, touching Visakhapatnam. Besides, he wanted introduction of Air India Express flights to the Gulf countries and Singapore from city.

    The MP said Customs and Immigration facilities could be introduced on a makeshift basis till permanent arrangements were made in the integrated terminal building that was due for completion in 2008. Till the new building was ready, the existing terminal should be fully air-conditioned.