Saturday, July 22, 2017

Airport feels the pinch as fliers increase

Madurai: Even as the number of fliers from Madurai airport has been growing, its development in terms of runway expansion has been mired in delays for years. Looked upon as the way forward for the airport, the expansion will enable bigger flights to land here. Meanwhile, the terminal building, which was put to use in 2010, has been hamstrung by space constraints with the growing passenger traffic.
The airport has been witnessing an impressive rise in the number of passengers. In 2013 only 6.39 lakh passengers used the terminal including 1.02 lakh international passengers. The number grew rapidly to 9.69 lakh passengers including 2.72 lakh international passengers in 2016. In other words, only an average of 53,326 passengers per month used the terminal in 2013 whereas in 2017 it has almost doubled to 98, 717.
Industrial bodies in Madurai too have been demanding better facilities including runway expansion. President of Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce (TNCC) N Jagatheesan said that at present Madurai airport terminal could handle only 250 outbound and 250 inbound passengers at a time. During noon when the domestic traffic was higher, not much space was available for the passengers. He also pointed out that Trichy and Tuticorin airports were going for terminal building expansion and Madurai would soon lag behind. AAI officials said the situation was being managed through a temporary arrangement — by using up the space available for international passengers.
22/07/17 Times of India