Airport slots: MP promises to take up issue with Navy chief

Lok Sabha Member of Parliament from Visakhapatnam, M.V.V. Satyanarayana, has sought six additional slots for commercial flights from Visakhapatnam International Airport and said he would take up the issue with the Navy chief.

Speaking at the Airport Advisory Committee meeting here on Wednesday, the MP also expressed annoyance at the delay in the works taken up for linear expansion of the terminal building at Visakhapatnam Airport.

He asked the officials to ensure quality work and to complete the expansion early. Mr. Satyanarayana told them that he would personally inspect the works next week.

The MP asked airport officials to come up with measures to allow taxi aggregators into the airport for picking up and dropping passengers as they were facing difficulty walking up to the highway carrying their luggage. He assured the committee members that he would also take up the issue of operating RTC buses to the airport to coincide with flight timings.

A.P. Air Travellers Association (APATA) vice-president O. Naresh Kumar said that the restrictions placed by the Navy on commercial flights were hampering the growth of Visakhapatnam Airport. He said Trujet had sought the 8.30 p.m. slot for operating its Hyderabad-Vizag flight but the request was rejected by the Navy. The Navy had also expressed its inability to allow any new flights between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.

‘Saving grace’

The saving grace was that following intense pressure from various sections, the Navy had allowed the Air India Vijayawada–Visakhapatnam flight to land at 8.55 p.m. The AI flight will take off from Vijayawada at 7.55 p.m. and land in Vizag at 8.55 p.m. It would take off from Vizag at 9.20 p.m. and land in Vijayawada at 10.20 p.m. This flight is expected to be launched by mid-September.

Flight to Rajahmundry

IndiGo has announced a flight between Rajahmundry and Visakhapatnam with effect from September 15. This flight would take off from Rajahmundry at 5.45 p.m. and land in Vizag at 6.30 p.m. It would leave Vizag at 6.50 and reach Rajahmundry at 7.40 p.m.

The APATA leaders demanded that the Navy lift restrictions being imposed on commercial flights at the airport.

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