Mangaluru, Nov 16, 2017: Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Nov 15, Wednesday made a strong plea for international airlines to start more flight operations to this coastal city. Underscoring the potential of the city to be connected to more number of international destinations rather than the Middle East as things stand now, the 77-year-old trade body rued absence of bilateral agreement and bilateral air traffic rights preventing the materialization of the same.
Vathika Pai, president of KCCI, listing out the priorities of the trade body under her stewardship told media that KCCI has received positive responses from several international airlines to start their flight operations to Mangaluru. Citing the absence of bilateral agreements and air traffic rights, she said KCCI will continue to bring pressure on the authorities concerned and ensure that the city get the much needed bilateral permissions.
With the extension of the runway of Mangalore International Airport (MIA) at Kenjar hanging fire, Vathika said it is time to see it extended from existing 2,450 metres to 3,050 metres. “This will continue to be our priority this year and KCCI will put all efforts to see that the state government sanctions the same. This will enable wide bodied aircraft to fly to MIA, she said, adding it will give a boost to IT, tourism and other industries of the region.
The approach road to the airport needs to be doubled as it is has to cater to the increasing traffic of passengers flying in and out of the city, she said. With no public transport to the airport, Vathika suggested that KSRTC and private buses be allowed up to the first circle just outside the airport for pick up and drop. Incidentally, it may be added here that Mangaluru division of KSRTC is already considering the introduction of one such service from Bhatkal to MIA.
Vathika also demanded better amenities for visitors to MIA such as washrooms, restaurant as such amenities are very basic in nature for them compared to passengers who have access to the same inside the terminal. Car parking fees for MIA is too high for a non-metro city, Vathika said urging the Airports Authority of India to look in to the issue on a priority. She also demanded that AAI introduce ticket system at both entry and exit gates be made electronic to save time.