Braving the odds due to coronavirus pandemic, the Visakhapatnam International Airport is fast bouncing back on the right track slowly but steadily, if one goes through the growth of passengers in the first nine months of the current financial year. All this and more, despite the cancellation of scheduled international flights in view of the virus outbreak.
Speaking to Hello Vizag Airport Director M. Raja Kishore, said the total number of passengers handled by the airport during the first nine months (till December 2020) of the current financial year were 6,53,037. Expressing optimism, Mr. Kisore said increasing passenger growth is indeed a positive sign and the airport would most probably reach its pre-lockdown passenger flow of 2.20 lakh footfalls per month and 78 flights per day by March, 2021.
Sharing further details with the Hello Vizag, Mr. Kishore said while other airports are seeing their footfall grow in hundreds, in Vizag, the growth is in thousands. The airport, which resumed operations with five arrivals and five departures after the lockdown, is now witnessing 42 flight movements daily.
Raj Kishore said there was a delay in launching the N5 taxi track as the survey is pending. All approvals were given for the operation of the taxi track. Along with it, six parking bays for A320 flights will be commissioned. Commissioning of the taxi track will allow more flights to be operated, and this will ensure better connectivity, he said.
Raj Kishore further said six additional parking bays (there are presently four), three aerobridges, and three parking slots will be set up. Four parking bays in the old terminal are now being used for chartered flights, VIPs, and non-scheduled flights. The official said the airport also registered healthy growth in terms of cargo handling despite the pandemic. “Work on the linear expansion of the airport was going on at a brisk pace and the building expansion will be completed by the end of the year. The expansion will provide additional space of 10,000 sq m at the airport,” he said.
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