Representatives of air travellers associations, industry and IT met Collector Pravin Kumar on Wednesday and sought his intervention in keeping the restrictions on movement of civilian flights, proposed to be imposed by the Navy at Vizag Airport, with effect from Nov. 1, this year.
In a memorandum to the Collector, they noted that the Navy after a meeting of the Military Civil Coordination Committee held on May 2, had initially taken a decision to have dedicated military flying slots from 9 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. from Monday to Friday and additional slots from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Friday.
They had reviewed their previous decision and revised the military flying slots following objections raised by several organisations and travel associations.
The existing timings of civilian aircraft at Vizag Airport have been scheduled keeping in view the connectivity with domestic and International flights. The restrictions would result in the disruption of the existing flight schedules and possible cancellation of flights. It would also have an adverse impact on many sectors, particularly, passenger traffic, tourism, merchandise exports, sea food and pharma exports, IT sector and the hotel industry.
The entire circuit of existing training operations is around thickly populated areas apart from the presence of a major oil refinery, industries and storage tanks of oil companies and an error during the training could lead to loss of life and property. This is not a safe zone for any air crew training operations.
They suggested alternatives like: constructing an air strip at the Naval Alternative Operating Base (NAOB) is already under construction at Rambilli and an air strip at Badangi in Vizianagaram district, which is under development by the Navy. These airstrips can be developed at both the places in a short time for the exclusive use of military flying.
Source: The Hindu