Feasibility of establishing airport enclave being examined

Special Correspondent

At Uchipuli Naval airfield

TIRUCHI: Airports Authority of India (AAI) is examining the feasibility of establishing a civil airport enclave at the Uchipuli Naval airfield and expanding Tuticorin Airport based on a request from the State Government, K. Ramalingam, Regional Executive Director, Southern Region, AAI, said here on Monday.

“We have sought permission from the Defence Ministry for developing a civil airport at Uchipuli near Ramanthapuram,” Mr.Ramalingam told reporters here. The technical feasibility of expanding the Tuticorin Airport, including an extension of the runway, is being examined.

The AAI is currently developing Mysore Airport. Its runway is being strengthened and extension work is under way. A new terminal building is also being planned for the airport.

The Visakhapatnam, Kozhikode, Mangalore, Tiruchi, Madurai and Coimbatore Airports have already been taken up for modernisation and expansion.

Runway and apron expansion works at Coimbatore Airport have already been completed and the existing terminal building would be expanded. A new terminal building is also being planned for the airport. Tenders have been awarded for the construction of the new terminal buildings for Mangalore and Madurai.

Further extension

Answering a query, Mr.Ramalingam said the feasibility of a further extension of the runway of the Tiruchi Airport to 12,000 feet is under consideration. The work would be taken up after the land acquisition was completed by the State government.

He also stated that the most of the airports in the Southern region were earning profits now. The Tiruchi Airport and a couple of others were expected to record profits during the current year.

N.B.Mathur, General Manager (Information Technology), AAI, said touch-screen information kiosks have been established in about 30 airports and they would be set up in all the airports across the country soon.

The kiosk could be upgraded as Common Use Self-Service counters where passengers could check-in by themselves and get printouts of tickets.

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