Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Navy decision to bar civil aircraft for 5 hours decried

Visakhapatnam: Representatives of air travellers associations, industry, IT and tours and travel sector criticised what they called ‘unilateral decision’ of the Indian Navy to bar the movement of civilian aircraft at the Visakhapatnam International Airport for at least five hours a day.

The decision, which was taken without consulting all stakeholders, will have a far-reaching effect on the growth of the ninth largest city in India. Apart from having a direct impact on the airline operators, the move would indirectly hamper the growth of Visakhapatnam, they told a media conference here on Monday.

Vizag Development Council (VDC) president O. Naresh Kumar said that construction of the Bhogapuram Airport was delayed and even if it was taken up now, it would take at least four years for completion. The Navy was already building the Naval Alternative Operating Base (NAOB) at an estimated cost of ₹10,000 core at Rambilli in the district and there were plans to revive the airstrip at Badangi in Vizianagaram district. An airstrip could be built at Rambilli and the one at Badangi revived to meet the training and practice needs of the Indian Navy. The presence of oil tankers of the HPCL near Vizag Airport could also pose a threat to military aircraft used to train defence personnel. Developing an airstrip would require around ₹300 crore and the exclusive airstrips could serve the defence training requirements better as they are away from the centre of the city.
12/06/18 The Hindu