Wednesday, January 22, 2020

No planes to fly, but smaller airports getting ready in Tamil Nadu

Chennai: Though the ministry of civil aviation is pushing a regional connectivity scheme to link Vellore, Thanjavur, Neyveli and Ramnad, authorities have said barring Thanjavur, none of the other airports is likely to be opened for flights.
“That too only if low cost carriers like IndiGo or SpiceJet show interest,” the official said.

Another official of Airports Authority of India (AAI) said as the ministry wants to upgrade infrastructure, Vellore is readying to obtain a licence, Neyveli airport is ready and work is on to equip Thanjavur airport.

“But no thought has gone into the fact that airlines don't have small nine seater planes to fly to Vellore and Neyveli... none of the airlines has expressed their intent to buy such small planes,” he said.
Data from the Rajya Sabha show that AAI has spent Rs 150 lakh to spruce up Vellore and Thanjavur airports in the last three years. Of this, Rs 132 lakh was spent for Vellore though no airline in the country has a 20-seater plane to operate a scheduled service. There is no mention of the money spent for Neyveli. AAI has listed this airport as loss-making.

AAI spent Rs 17 lakh in 2016-17, Rs 22 lakh in 2017-18 and Rs 93 lakh in 2018-19 readying Vellore airport.
22/01/20 Times of India
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