Mangaluru, Mar 29, 2017 : Foreign nationals entering India through Mangaluru International Airport can opt for the electronic visa (e-visa) facility from April 1.
Tourist, medical, and business visa holders can avail of the facility, according to J.T. Radhakrishna, director of the airport. Mangaluru will be the second airport in Karnataka after Bengaluru to offer e-visa facility.
The airport has created two exclusive counters for e-visa holding travellers at the terminal building as fingerprints of such travellers would have to be taken, he told The Hindu.
P.V.S.V. Prasad, Assistant Director, Bureau of Immigration at the airport, said immigration officials take three seconds to check a traditional visa. Separate counters for e-visa holders are required as it takes three to four minutes to check e-visa as the fingerprints of the passenger is required. Other passengers will then not have to wait for immigration clearance.
Mr. Prasad suggested that if the travellers carried a printout of the e-visa, the clearance process becomes faster, rather than checking it on the smart phone.
Foreign nationals using e-visa and visiting this coastal belt arrive at Mumbai or Bengaluru international airports first, and then take domestic flights to Mangaluru. From next month, they can fly directly to Mangaluru.
The airport handles 47 international flight arrivals and an equal number of departures per week. The international operations from Mangaluru are limited to West Asian countries. The flights are being operated to Dubai, Dammam, Doha, Kuwait, Muscat and Abu Dhabi.
Jet Airways withdrew its operations between Mangaluru and Sharjah from January 15 due to lack of passenger traffic, Mr. Radhakrishna said.
The Airports Authority of India is building two more aero bridges in the airport in addition to the existing two. The new bridges are expected to be ready by this December, the director said.