“We are hopeful of starting operations before the end of the financial year once the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issues the necessary sanction,” said AAI Chennai based Regional Executive Director R Madhavan.
The facility created under the Central government’s UDAN RCS (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik regional connectivity scheme) which should have become operational - connecting the Chennai-Vellore-Bengaluru route in both directions - more than a year ago was delayed by various issues and the pandemic.
The major issue which held up completion of the runway work was handing over of the Abdullapuram-Asanambut Road to the AAI to link the runway with the terminal building.
As the road bisected the runway and the buildings, officials planned to build an alternate road on the periphery before closing the road.
The work was held up due to officials being unsure as to where exactly to lay this new road. This was finally done.
At a meeting chaired by Vellore Collector A Shanmuga Sundaram on Monday, Vellore airport officer in charge D Meganathan requested for provision of an additional 11 acres of land. This naturally took the district officials by surprise.
Asked about this, Madhavan told DT Next, “We need the 11 acres for the funnel approach at the beginning of the runway. We have also requested the district administration to remove obstacles including trees to ensure a problem free approach.”
The State Highways Department officials, who participated in the meeting, said as the Asanambut Road was handed over and as linking the runway and terminal was now on, arrangements had to be made to create a new path to a borewell being used, removing trees in the proposed funnel approach and shifting low tension wires from the site.
Also, a cremation ground in the vicinity had to be shifted, the Highways Department officials added.