Ways to increase traffic at Vizag airport discussed

A need for more slots for civilian aircraft during peak hours at the Visakhapatnam International Airport and improvement of international air connectivity from Vijayawada Airport were the two major issues that came up at a review meeting on ‘Airports in A.P.’ chaired by Special Chief Secretary Karikal Velaven in Vijayawada on Thursday.

Airport directors Giri Madhusudana Rao (Vijayawada), M. Raja Kishore (Vizag), Siva Prasad (Kadapa), S. Suresh (Tirupati) and Manoj Kumar Nayak (Rajamahendravaram) attended the meeting.

V.N. Bharat Reddy, Adviser (Aviation) to the State Government, and officiating CEO of APADCP Neena Sharma were present.

Only 10 flights can land and take off in an hour from the Visakhapatnam airport, which limits the maximum number of slots in a day to 240. Of these, 160 slots are allotted to passenger flights while the remaining 80 slots are reserved for military aircraft. Of the 160 slots that have been allotted for passenger flights, only 80 slots are convenient for operation of passenger flights while the other slots fall under ‘odd timings’, according to officials of the Visakhapatnam International Airport.

It was felt that two more flights could be accommodated in the summer schedule at Vizag airport. Officials also opined that negotiations were needed with the Navy to get more slots during peak hours for operating passenger flights.

Early commissioning of the newly-constructed N5 taxiway at the Vizag airport would reduce runway occupancy time, officials said.

Mr. Madhusudhana Rao, director of the Vijayawada Airport, elaborated on the potential for international air connectivity to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and Malaysia from Vijayawada. The meeting also plans to host an all-airline meet in Vijayawada in the future to discuss growth opportunities.

Improvement of air connectivity between all airports in the State was also discussed at the meeting.

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