Bhubaneswar, Imphal airports get international status

New Delhi, Oct 30 : The government Wednesday accorded international operation status to Bhubaneswar and Imphal airports.

According to a statement of the Union Cabinet, which met here, declaration of these airports as international airports "will offer improved connectivity, wider choice of services at competitive cost".

An airport needs to fulfil criteria such as an extra layer of security and scrutiny such as custom and immigration counters. The airport also needs to have sufficient space for health services, animal and plant quarantine.

The airport also should have a separate domestic terminal building or an integrated one to handle passenger traffic.

Besides, communications, navigation, surveillance (CNS) and air traffic management (ATM) services also need to upgraded to handle higher traffic volumes at the airport.

Oil companies too are required to have special financial arrangements to provide international passenger carriers with air turbine fuel (ATF). ATF sold to these airlines does not carry state sales taxes and is considered as exports.

Currently, Bhubaneswar's Biju Patnaik Airport which belongs to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) is suitable for operation of large-bodied aircraft and is also equipped with facilities for night operations.

The airport's apron area can park up to six aircrafts and navigational aids.

"The modification of the existing domestic terminal building into international terminal building suitable for handling international operations has been completed," the statement said.

The international terminal of the airport will house six check-in-counters, customs and immigration counters.

On the other hand, Imphal airport, which too belongs to the AAI, is suitable for handling medium-size aircraft like Airbus A-320 in all weather conditions.

The cabinet statement added that major facilities at the airport, include night operations, parking for three A-320s, one turboprop ATR-72 at a time, and 19 check-in-counters, custom counters, immigration counters.

--IANS (Posted on 30-10-2013)

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