It's Official: Mangalore Airport Gets International Tag
Daijiworld Media Network
Mangalore/New Delhi, Oct 4: It is finally here. The long-cherished dream of scores of Mangaloreans was realized on Thursday October 4 with the official announcement of international status to Mangalore Airport.
The announcement in this regard was made by union finance minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi following a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCI).
Coimbatore, Trichy, Lucknow and Varanasi have also been granted the international airport status after the proposal came for approval before the union cabinet on Thursday.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCI), at its meeting in New Delhi, approved the proposal for the upgradation of the five airports which have the required infrastructure in place like large terminal, immigration and customs facility to handle international operations.
"These airports already have infrastructure like immigration and customs to handle the international operations. In fact some of them already do have some international flights. With this (decision) we expect that these airports will be able to attract more international flights and travellers," P Chidambaram said after the meeting.
An international airport is one that can accommodate international flights that requires separate layers for immigration and customs including high end facilities at the terminal like aerobridges and mandatory runway length to accommodate jets.
With the approval, the long pending demand of Mangaloreans will become a reality and the international tag would give an impetus to tourism and the overall development of the city.
Udupi-Chikmagalur MP Jayaprakash Hegde deserves a special mention as he has been consistently and relentlessly pursuing the matter, together with union minister for corporate affairs Dr M Veerappa Moily.
Conversion of a domestic airport into an international airport means creation of more standardized immigration facilities. The international tag would also mean that the airport would be open to foreign airlines and more facilities would be available to the passengers.
Reacting to the news of the approval of the international tag Airport Director M R Vasudeva who will be retiring by the end of October pointed out “it is the parting gift given to me and the people of this district by my department. We have been trying very hard for this tag for the last so many years ever since international type of facilities was made available at the Mangalore Airport in May 2006. I am happy that all our efforts have borne fruit”.
He also stated that the new tag would entail more international passenger inflow and Mangalore will be viewed in a different angle henceforth.
J P Hegde Welcomes Move
Speaking exclusively to Daijiworld, MP Jayaprakash Hegde expressed his happiness and said that the move would benefit people of the coastal region who are working abroad.
The international status to the airport has brought a new dimension to its operations and within October Ajith Singh will inaugurate, he said.
He said the cabinet has also put forward a proposal to build an airport at Ottinene in Byndoor as per the requirement of the people. In this regard a meeting was also hold with Jagadish Shettar, he said. The minimum distance between two airports (150 km) is also fulfilled as the distance between Ottinene and Bajpe is 150 km.
"If the proposal of Ottinene airport is sanctioned in the cabinet, people from Dakshina Kannada to Kumta will be benefitted," he said.