Airport Director says flights will be operated from 8am to 8pm starting March 28, 2010
Visakhapatnam Airport, March 17, 2010
Though air travelers have to wait for round the clock operations from Visakhapatnam Airport, they got some relief as the Navy which is in charge of Air Traffic Control agreeing to 12 hour operations starting from March 28. The demand for round the clock operations has been then for a long time, the Centre had agreed to take up the demand once the Navy Integrated Terminal building at the airport is completed. Flights started operating from the new terminal almost a year ago and Instrument Landing Systems and other facilities were already in place.
The Navy avers to round the clock operations on the plea of shortage of staff to man the ATC, they also claimed that international airlines were not evincing interest in operating night flights to Visakhapatnam. Airline operators, however, countered the claim saying they were prepared to operate night flights to Visakhapatnam once round the clock operations were in place. The other day, a shripe exporter form Visakhapatnam said that lack of international flights was hammering his business. International flights and round the clock operations are a must to attract entrepreneurs be it from the IT sectors, academicians from the top grade institutions like IITs as also from other sectors.
The Navy agreed to operate the flights up to 8pm following a hue and cry from air users several months ago. The watch tower operations were split from 8am to 2pm and again from 5pm to 8pm. The staggered timings prevented airline operators from operating flights to Visakhapatnam between 2pm to 5pm all these months. The Navy has agreed to take flights from 8am to 8pm without a break with effect from March 28, said Airport Director C Pattabhi on Wednesday.