The Ministry of Civil Aviation has been working closely with the Ministry of Tourism to begin flight operations to 34 tourism sites across India.
Speaking at a joint press conference with KJ Alphons, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism, Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Civil Aviation said that the aviation industry has reached a growth rate of 20 per cent for almost four years. “With the growth, people’s expectations are also growing faster. We are trying to cater to the growing demands of all the states, passengers and aspirants of flying.” Also present at the press briefing were Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation and RN Choubey, Secretary, Civil Aviation.
Talking about working with Ministry of Tourism, Prabhu said, “We are working with MOT to identify destinations which are attractive to tourists and where air connectivity is an issue so that we can provide that. We are working to identify hotspots for tourism across India, where we can identify air connectivity to exploit its true potential, so that India continues to get more tourists in the process. Every tourist brings in 15 jobs on site or off site, and therefore this is a very important sector. As the Minister of Commerce, we have identified tourism sector as one of the dominant service sectors.”
We are working to identify hotspots for tourism across India, where we can identify air connectivity to exploit its true potential, so that India continues to get more tourists in the process
Suresh Prabhu, Minister, Civil Aviation
Alphons added, “We have given a proposal to MOCA to link unconnected tourism destinations, especially the iconic sites. I have a given a list of 34 sites on which fixed wing aircraft can fly and three destinations on which helicopters can fly. MOT will pay for it after getting money from Ministry of Commerce and pay to MOCA for the same.”
Prabhu also updated the press about the upcoming Calicut Airport in Kerala. “The DGCA has approved all the safety considerations to start operations from Calicut Airport. Also, there will be operations of wide-bodied aircraft from this airport, owing to demand,” he claimed.
Sinha added, “Saudi Arabia airlines will commence its operations for A330 as well as for B777 from Calicut, and they have been given technical go-ahead for the same. In fact, from next year, Calicut is likely to be an embarkation point for Haj operations. The MOT has taken that up with the Ministry of Minority Affairs.”
In fact, Choubey informed that Calicut Airport will have a new international arrival block, which is being constructed by AAI at a cost of `120 crores. “When the construction of the block is completed, the total capacity of the airport will go up from 3.5 million passengers per annum to 5 million passengers per annum,” he claimed.
MOCA revealed that another airport in Kerala—Kannur, will also start operations from October 1, 2018. In fact, there will be international operations from this airport as well. Choubey said, “Kannur is going to be connected to Abu Dhabi by Jet Airways; to Dammam by GoAir; and to Doha by IndiGo. These three international flights will be commencing anytime from the winter schedule.”
- Kannur, will also start operations from October 1, 2018
- Kannur is going to be connected to Abu Dhabi by Jet Airways; to Dammam by GoAir; and to Doha by IndiGo
- These three international flights will be commencing anytime from the winter schedule