Demand for more slots for civilian flights during peak hours at Visakhapatnam airport | Visakhapatnam News

VISAKHAPATNAM: The demand for more slots for civilian flights during the peak hours from Visakhapatnam International Airport that under the control of the Indian Navy gradually increasing.
At present, the civilian flight slots are fewer in peak hours and slots are more in normal hours. A few more additional slots as against the existing slots are urged by the air travellers’ association and also the industries.
The Indian Navy has allotted 165 slots per day for civilian flights and it was 214 slots on weekends. The slots were 60 between midnight 12.01 to 5.59am, 18 slots between 6 am to 7.59 am, and eight slots from 8 am to 8.59 am.
Of 165 slots, more than 75 slots are not useful, because there would not be any rush of passengers, the Visakhapatnam Air Travelers Association Vice President and Airport Advisory Board Member O Naresh Kumar said.
In the peak hours, six slots from 9 am to 10.59 am, eight slots from 11 am to 12.59 noon, six slots from 1 pm to 1.59 pm, and seven between 2 pm to 2.59 pm, besides only two slots from 3pm to 3.59am. Only one from 4 pm to 4.29 pm. Interestingly, 20 slots were allotted between 10 pm to 11.59pm which is considered not a peak time.
The Visakhapatnam MP MVV Satyanarayana said that the passengers’ number has been increasing day by day and the existing flights are not catering to the needs of the travellers. Around a 30% increase in the number of passengers was witnessed in the first quarter of this year as compared to the fourth quarter of last year. The fourth quarter of last year witnessed 4.56 lakh passengers while it was 5.94 lakh in the first quarter of this year, he said.
He wrote a letter to Union Minister for Defence Rajnath Singh by saying that Vizag is a financial hub of the state and close proximity to the states of Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The port city has become a center for business.
The airport has its own contribution to the development of business and industries in the Visakhapatnam district by maintaining air connectivity to the different cities in India and some of the countries, he said.
Even after the construction of the new N5 Taxi track with the funds of AAI, it was observed only two to three slots were allotted for civilian flights, he said. This has been affecting new flights coming to Vizag and the growth of air traffic would also be affected. The MP urged the Union Defence minister to allot a minimum of six additional slots for civilian flights and it could pave way for introducing more flights with proper connectivity to domestic and international destinations.
“The Navy had sanctioned a parallel taxi track at the airport four years ago for the movement of Defence aircraft. But is it not completed? I request you to consider for early completion and commissioning of the taxi track by your next visit to Vizag,” the MP requested the minister.

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