The runway length of the country's first fully private greenfield airport, proposed to be set up here, has been scaled down for the first phase, with a view to complete the project soon. Super Airport Infrastructure (India) Private Limited (SAIIPL), entrusted with the construction of the airport, has reduced the proposed runway length from 1.8 km to 1 km for the first phase, a top company official said. Speaking to reporters here yesterday, Chairman of SAIIPL, JV Chowdhary said the company had obtained necessary clearances from regulatory agencies, including permission from the Union Civil Aviation Ministry and No-Objection Certificate from the Puducherry government and has begun making preparations for establishing the airport. "In the first phase of construction, the airport will have a 1-km runway, which could accommodate small aircrafts like Dornier 228 and 328.
Up to 30 passengers could travel in such aircrafts," he said. "Initially, we had planned to have a 1.8 km runway in the first phase. But, thatwould have required more time and resources for completion. We have scaled down the first phase to 1 km with a view to complete the works at the earliest," said Chowdhary adding the company will gradually expand the length to 1.8 km in the next phase and then to 2.6 km to accommodate regional jets, Boeing 737 and even bigger planes. SAIIPL has proposed to set up the airport in about 526 acres of land and has already acquired nearly 350 acres, which is adequate for the first phase of the project, he added. Stating that the company was planning to complete the construction work within 6 months, Chowdhary claimedthat many airliners have already expressed interest to operate flight services to Karaikal. He also expressed hopes that thePuducherry Industrial Promotion Development and Investment Corporation (PIPDIC) would extend financial assistance to the project. Chowdharypointed out that the airport will give a major fillip to tourism and other connected economic activities in Karaikal district, besides creating large scale employment opportunities.
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