15 airlines likely to operate their flights, he says
Plea to make Vizag an international airport
MoU signed for providing training programmes
VISAKHAPATAM: The Visakhapatnam airport with all new facilities will be fully operational by the end of June, according to Union Minister of State for Mines T. Subbarami Reddy.
He gave this assurance to the members of the local chapter of Air Travellers Association (India) at a function organised by the latter to celebrate Vizag Air Connect and commissioning of new runway at the Vizag airport on Friday.
Now that the new extended runway was open, the Minister said that in the next stage, airbus aircraft would land followed by connectivity to all airports.
“By June 20 or 21, they will operate airbus from Mumbai to Vizag.
Now night landing facility is available and we have to find out if navy staff are available for operations. I am coordinating with AAI and Navy and by the end of this month, we can have a full-fledged airport with night landing facility,” he said.
Dr. Reddy was also confident that in a few weeks’ time from now, about 15 airlines would operate their flights from Vizag.
Speaking on the occasion, Speaker of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, K.S. Suresh Reddy, observed that people of Vizag would understand the kind of opportunities and growth the new facilities would throw up.
There would be more employment opportunities and use of airport as it would be less expensive to return to Vizag by air than stay in a hotel spending Rs.5,000 for the night, he pointed out.
He also asked the association to look into the grievances of air-users.
Welcoming the guests, president of ATA(I), D. Varada Reddy, fervently appealed to make Vizag an international airport. He suggested the Air India flights now operating to Gulf countries from places like Trichy, Kozhikode and Tiruvananthapuram and the Indian flights from Hyderabad to Bangkok, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur, could be flown via Vizag for the convenience of air-users.
He also urged the Air Deccan Vice President K. Thapar who was present, to operate flights to Kolkata and Port Blair. He thanked the Visakhapatnam MP N. Janardhana Reddy, Union Minister Dr. Reddy, and Minister for Commercial Taxes Konathala Ramakrishna for their efforts to upgrade the airport.
The Minister and Speaker honoured among others former Director of Indian Airlines Capt. S.N. Reddy, General Manager (Projects) of Airports Authority of India H.S. Suresh, Commander of INS Dega Capt. G. Prakash, Project Manager of INS Dega Cdr. Samal, Airport Controller C. Pattabhi, and the contractor of the airport M. Venkata Rao for successfully completing the new runway. Mr. Suresh, Capt. Reddy, BSNL General Manager P. Nagaraju, and VUDA official Thimmareddy made presentations.
ATA(I) Secretary General D. Rajgopal Reddy and Capt. Gill of Falcon Airlines, UK signed a memorandum of understanding for providing training programmes for ground staff, airhostesses and engineering personnel on the occasion.
Film producer D. Ramanaidu, legislators Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao, Gandi Babjee, and Ganta Srinivasa Rao, VUDA chairman P.S.N. Raju, vice-chairman G. Venkatram Reddy, Andhra University Vice Chancellor L. Venugopal Reddy, and others were present .