Visakhapatnam Airport has been witnessing a rapid increase in footfall by the travelers year by year which has been helping in the growth of tourism. The footfall last year has been reported to be 24 lakhs, and this year, alone in April 1836 national trips and 155 international trips were serviced through the airport. Now, the tourism statistics might slide down as the public flight services in the airport might come to halt for 5 hours every day from November 1.
INS Dega in Visakhapatnam is a part of the Eastern Naval Command and aligned to the airport. The MIG-29K is a fighter aircraft run by INS Dega and is situated in the airport itself. Initiatives are in progress for training the fighter pilots and from November 1, the 10km runway will be used by the Naval Command.
The public services will be halted from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm in the morning and 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm during the evenings. Almost 35 public flight services run in Visakhapatnam Airport and 16 services might be affected due to the halt for five hours every day. 5 flights of Air India, 4 of Indigo, 3 of spice jet, 2 of Air Asia, 1 of Jet Emirates and 1 from the Srilanka Emirates are in the list of flights which would be affected.
Effects on Tourism
A lot of tourists visit Visakhapatnam from the month of August as the climate starts getting cooler, especially at places like Araku. Even in the city, the tourist float is at its maximum during the second half of the year. In view of the tourism, the private agencies have already introduced the tourism packages. The 3-star and the 5-star hotels situated in the city rise to a great demand during the season and are almost occupied fully. This might create a problem and agitation.
Although the Naval Command has submitted a letter to Airports Authority of India (AAI), an official decision is not yet announced. Due to this, to be affected airlines have not yet done any adjustments in the flight timings for November. The travelers from other places might not be knowing about the time restrictions as the bookings are taking place as usual.