The Union Civil Aviation Ministry on Wednesday accorded approval to Chhattisgarh for commencing international flights from Raipur’s Swami Vivekananda Airport.
The green signal was provided by Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju during his meeting with Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh in New Delhi.During the meeting, the Chief Minister informed Raju that the new airport in Raipur excels in all parameters required for operating international flights.
Stressing on the need to transform Swami Vivekanand Airport into an international airport, Singh said that air traffic in Chhattisgarh has rapidly increased during the past five years as the State has been making rapid development in the Service sector domain besides presence of large industrial units in the State.
Mentioning the Centre’s announcement to develop new airports in tier-I and tier-II cities in the Union budget, the Chief Minister demanded inclusion of Bilaspur, Jagdalpur and Ambikapur airports in the scheme. He said that the Chhattisgarh Government has substantially reduced Value Added Tax (VAT) on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) from 25 per cent to 5 per cent in order to encourage various airlines to operate from different cities and towns of Chhattisgarh.
Noting that some airlines have cut operations from Raipur airport despite sufficient passenger traffic available, the Chief Minister said reduction in flights creates inconvenience to passengers. He urged Raju to issue directives to those airlines regarding increase in operations from Raipur airport. He also demanded more number of Air India flights from the State.