The launch of dedicated cargo flight from Vizag airport has been delayed due to the restrictions imposed by Navy on the time slots, as per Andhra Pradesh Air Travellers Association (APATA).
Earlier, Spicejet had agreed to launch air freight services along the Chennai–Vizag– Kolkata route from 15 February. The exclusive flight, which is deemed capable of carrying 20 tons of air cargo, was slated to operate on a daily basis.
In this regard, Visakhapatnam MP MVV Satyanarayana has written to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh requesting the relaxation of the restrictions on the movement of civilian aircraft at the airport.
The letter stated that the authorities of the Indian Navy have restricted the flying of civilian aircraft at Visakhapatnam airport from 9 AM to 12 noon and 6 PM to 9 PM. The MP mentioned that as there is a shortage of aircraft, the operators might divert flights to other airports due to the Navy restrictions in place at Vizag airport. “If the Navy restrictions are imposed, the growth of Visakhapatnam is likely to suffer a major setback. A decline in passenger traffic will have an adverse impact on many sectors, particularly tourism, merchandise exports, seafood and pharma exports, IT sector and the hotel industry,” the letter read.
Also, as Vizag is likely to be set up as the executive capital of Andhra Pradesh, the air traffic is expected to grow by 50% in the immediate short term, including cargo flights, it further added.
Further, Mr Satyanarayana sought the Centre’s support for the early completion of the parallel taxi track, commissioning of the N5 taxi track and development of an airstrip at Badangi in Vizianagaram to ease congestion at Vizag airport.