Mangalore airport granted international status2 min read
Earlier this month, Union Minister for Power and Corporate Affairs Veerappa Moily had announced the possibility of Bajpe airport receiving international recognition. Addressing the press from the Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Mangalore, the director of the airport M. R. Vasudeva said that Bajpe was among the list of airports that were given the international tag, among Lucknow, Varanasi, Trichy and Coimbatore.
“To get this international recognition, an airport needs to meet certain requirements runway area, customs etc.,” said Vasudeva. “Mangalore airport has the facilities to handle medium sized aircrafts. It can also accommodate up to 15 lakhs passengers per year, from the present statistic of 9.30 lakhs. We expect the international sector of the airline to be fully functional in about a year,” he said.
“I haven’t taken many flights from Bajpe, but the fact that it’s on a hilltop has made it a little scary,” said Asha Mathew, a second year student at the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations at Manipal University. “I have to admit that the short runway gave me jitters while I was on the flight,” she said.
“It is important to have an international airport near a student town like Manipal,” said Balram Kadaikal, a first year student of Manipal College of Dental Sciences (MCODS). “But if an airport is going receive international accreditation, other things need to be taken in to consideration. The traffic at the airport is bound to increase; they’ll want to change the table top design because for a lot of people safety is still a concern,” he said.
“I think it’s great that Mangalore airport has been accorded with the international status. I don’t have any plans to go abroad, but I’m guessing this means that there will be frequent flights to the rest of the country,” said Greeshma Pai, a graduate from Manipal Institute of Management (MIM). “As of now, there are no direct flights to Delhi or Assam. If they are going to increase the number of international flights, then they should also connect the whole of India,” she said.
At present, the airport has various airlines providing direct flights to around six countries, mostly to the Middle East. With the airport gaining international status, more airlines companies are expected to start services at Bajpe.
Sub-edited by Bhavani Seetharaman