MADURAI : A delegation from Tamil Nadu Foodgrains Merchants’ Association Limited led by its president S.P. Jeyapragasam presented a memorandum to the Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju.
According to a press release issued here on Monday, the delegation, accompanied by Madurai Lok Sabha MP R. Gopalakrishnan said that for industrial and tourism development, Madurai airport had to be given more focus that would give tourists quicker access. Hence, direct connectivity of flights from and to different international destinations should be accorded priority.
The members said that export of many horticulture and agriculture produces from Madurai and southern districts may be expanded when more flights were operated from here.
The airport, which was expanded at a cost of Rs.240 crore along with the terminus of 1.89 lakh square feet, facility to handle 250 international passengers and among others, was yet to see any announcement on international airport status.
The delegation suggested starting of international cargo services from Madurai airport so that it would benefit entrepreneurs from this region. Presently, they were using Tiruchi, Coimbatore and Thiruvananthapuram airports. While some produces could not be kept or transported for long hours, other commodities had to be transported by road and then booked in cargo. The Air India flights operated to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Muscat and Sharjah from Chennai at present may be extended to Madurai.
Association secretary S.V.S.S. Velshankar said that the Union Minister assured to look into the representation positively, the release added.