Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Sholavaram could be go-to strip as Udan flights choke Chennai airport

Chennai: With the Indian Air Force hinting that they may allow civilian planes to operate at the airstrip in Sholavaram, Airports Authority of India officials and experts feel the facility can be developed for Udan flights, like the way Hindon has been developed for Delhi.

A small passenger terminal can be built at the enclave, located 26km away from the city, to operate flights to small towns, thus allowing the Chennai airport to operate more flights to big cities and international destinations. Now, an increase in flights to small towns is choking the airport.

Sources said, “The Sholavaram airfield can be developed into a low-cost terminal with less fee and charges for both airlines and passengers.”

AAI sources said, “A few days ago, the Union cabinet cleared a move to develop unused airstrips and those owned by the defence forces, for civil use. If officials can secure defence ministry’s nod to operate flights from another airport, Sholavaram or Arakkonam can be used as subsidiary airports for Chennai.”

A senior Air India official said world over, all major cities have two airports one is used for low-cost carriers where airlines get discounts to operate while bigger planes are operated from the main airport. This model can be adopted here.”
13/03/19 Times of India