Special Correspondent

It will be thrown open to domestic flights on Ugadi day

The terminal formally inaugurated by Chief Minister on Feb. 21

Cargo traffic operations will continue from old terminal building

VISAKHAPATNAM: Air travellers will have a new gift on the Telugu New Year Day.

Authorities at the Visakhapatnam airport are making arrangements for shifting all operations from the new terminal building from March 27, on which date Ugadi falls.

After prolonged delay, the Rs.95-crore terminal building was formally inaugurated by Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy on February 21.

A long-awaited facility for the air travellers, operations from this fully air-conditioned new terminal which has facilities for night landing and international flights, would be formally open to domestic flights from the Telugu New Year Day.

Air traffic

According to Director of Visakhapatnam Airport C. Pattabhi, all airlines operating here would be shifting their counters to the new terminal building.

Cargo traffic operations, however, would continue from the old terminal building.

On the air traffic, he said the monthly average continues to be about 48,000 passengers and it would be possible to reach the annual target of six lakh passengers this year.

Meanwhile, the Air Travellers Association (India), while welcoming shifting of operations to the new airport, said operations of Silk Air in the Singapore-Visakhapatnam-Singapore sector will commence shortly.

This would commence after a personal assessment of facilities, traffic potential etc by the Country Manager of Air Silk. According to president of the ATA D. Varada Reddy, there was a boycott by the travel agents of Singapore Airlines and Silk Air on the payment of commission and operations are likely to commence as soon as this issue was sorted out.

The ATA also appealed to international air travellers to use Chennai airport and avoid user development charge which is as much as Rs.1300 for all international passengers at Hyderabad airport. No UDC is collected from the passengers at the Chennai airport.