Sunday, October 28, 2018

Govt, AAI resort to blame game over delay in int’l flight service

Vijayawada: The state government and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) are playing a blame game over the delay in the proposed maiden international flight service from Vijayawada airport. The state government had proposed a biweekly service between Vijayawada and Singapore to boost the local economy and tourism. But the launch was put off twice with the state government blaming the delay in the issue of customs notification.
The government’s contention has turned controversial as the AAI making it clear that the airport is ready for the maiden international flight any time. AAI officials also point out that the customs department worked overtime to make the city airport ready for the international service, scheduled to take off on October 25. Since then, it has been postponed to December 4.
Vijayawada airport, which was upgraded as an international airport by Union government in May 2017, is still waiting for the first international service to take off. The AAI developed the old terminal to international standards in January this year, anticipating international services from March 2018.
Indigo airlines was selected to run the biweekly service between Vijayawada and Singapore. The state government agreed to provide variability gap funding (VGF) for the service.
28/10/18 Venu Lanka/Times of India