Monday, August 07, 2017

In September, fly to Salem, Puducherry

Chennai: From September, flying from Chennai to Puducherry and Salem will be possible as the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) of the Civil Aviation Ministry takes off.

Both the Centre and State governments have big plans regarding the scheme. “It will revolutionise air travel as more and more people prefer to fly,” says P.W.C. Davidar, IAS, additional chief secretary, Transport Department, Government of Tamil Nadu.

Operations will first begin on the Chennai-Puducherry route, followed up by the Chennai-Salem route. “Already, the bids for Salem and Neyveli airports have been finalised. Hosur has got huge potential. It is a private airfield and the approval is awaited,” he says.

According to officials of Airports Authority of India (AAI), there are some obstructions in the approach at the Neyveli airport’s airstrip and a study has been conducted for the same.

“We plan to commence operations to Neyveli by the end of October at least,” an official says.

There will be special fares on these routes for at least half the seats (RCS fare). These seats will be priced at ₹2,500, AAI officials say.

The cabinet committee on economic affairs has given a budgetary provision of ₹4,500 crore for the RCS scheme to be implemented across the country. Also, AAI plans to invest ₹17,500 crore for capacity enhancement and upgrading infrastructure at various existing airports.

For instance, at Thoothukudi, the State has given 366 acres for the extension of the runway.

Also, AAI will expand both Tiruchi and Madurai airports in the coming months.
07/08/17 Sunitha Sekar/The Hindu