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Vizag airport to operate international flights

VISAKHAPATNAM: The airport in Visakhapatnam, which has been witnessing an increase in passenger footfall and freight traffic post second wave of Covid-19, is gearing up to handle Airport director K Srinivasa Rao said no international flights, including Vande Bharat and air bubble, were operated to Vizag.

Scoot Airlines had proposed to operate flights from Vizag to Singapore from December 15, but the proposal was deferred due to an advisory issued by the Centre in the wake of Omicron threat. Scoot Airlines is likely to start its flight services to Singapore from December 29, if the Centre decides to operate international flights, he said.

So as to meet Covid norms for international passengers, a permanent RT-PCR centre will be set up at the airport for which the Civil Aviation Ministry has given its nod. The RT-PCR centre will start functioning at the airport from December 20. HLL Lifecare Ltd has submitted a proposal to set up a centre to conduct RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests, he explained.

On other development initiatives, he said the airport expansion is nearing completion, which enables it handle a passenger traffic of 3.5 million per annum. Now, the footfall of passengers is 6,000 on weekdays and 7,000 on weekends.

For operation of international flights, customs and immigration centres are required and necessary facilities are being made for them. In one or two months, customs and immigration centres will start functioning at the airport, he said.

Listing out the facilities, he said there are 16 parking bays at the airport. The four parking bays in the old terminal are being used for special flights. In the 12 new parking bays, there are three aerobridges.

The airport is also in a position to offer night parking facility to airlines, which enables them operate early morning flights from Vizag. A new flight to Tirupati will be introduced from December 15 as part of the winter schedule, he added.