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DGCA to inspect Vellore airport this month; regular services soon

Prior to the regulator’s visit, three-member team from Chennai checks security aspects

DGCA to inspect Vellore airport this month; regular services soon

Completed fencing work of the Vellore airport perimeter

VELLORE: A team from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) either from New Delhi or Chennai is expected to inspect the Vellore airport works to complete formalities for the launch of regular services.

The union government body, which grants approvals for airport operations after the completion of all works and formalities by AAI, is likely to visit the airport during the second week of December, sources said.

“All required documents related the Vellore airport have been submitted to the DGCA, which is expected to take a call shortly,” sources said.

Asked for the reason for the delay, sources attributed it to anticipated acquisition of 10.72 acres for the facility. “Because we required additional lands, we did not undertake perimeter fencing work. But when we realised that additional lands may not be needed – due to the high cost quoted by the State government – we went ahead and completed the fencing work recently,” officials said.

Meanwhile, a three-member team, including the Chennai airport general manager, general manager (security) and an intelligence official, inspected the facility to check security aspects provisions on Thursday.

When it was pointed out that the runway and terminal buildings were completed more than a year ago and that if a private player was involved the latter would have started operations, officials pointed out that DGCA officials were on the job demanding weekly reports on the progress of ongoing works in the Vellore facility.

Another bugbear is that AAI was waiting for a reply from the district administration on the demolition of a cremation shed that was within the airport premises.

Asked why they needed to inform the administration when the land where the shed was located was already handed over to them, officials defended it saying that it was only to follow due process. “The cremation shed was built by the administration and hence we want their permission to remove it,” officials said.

Additional facilities, including a permanent gateway with an arch (there is only a barricade now), would be provided only after the commencement of flight operations, sources said.

Tharian Mathew
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