On World Tourism Day, Agra looks to air connectivity

September 27th, 2011 - 6:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, Sep 27 (IANS) As Agra marked World Tourism Day Tuesday, hoteliers and travel agents in the city of the Taj were upbeat about the new tourist season, high on the promise of air connectivity.

Senior tourism industry leader Rajiv Tiwari and others are trying to iron out remaining hurdles to upgrade the Kheria Airport here into an international airport that is expected to receive a record number of chartered flights from global destinations.

“We already have confirmation of more than a dozen chartered flights of one group, while several other agencies are giving final touches to their itineraries. Kingfisher Airlines will resume its daily flight from early October and some other airlines may soon follow,” Tiwari told IANS.

The Kheria airport (an air force base), 10 kilometres from the Taj Mahal, will soon have night landing facilities, while customs clearance arrangements are already in place to facilitate international arrivals.

According to divisional commissioner Amrit Abhijat, the air controller has already sent him a report that the required night vision facility has been installed and large aircraft can land comfortably.

He had directed the Agra Development Authority (ADA) to carry out necessary civil works outside the airport. More than a dozen golf carts and battery buses are being added to the existing fleet.

A record 5.5 million tourists visited Agra last year.

“This year we hope to do better as a number of measures have been initiated, from better amenities to improved security ambience,” said Rakesh Chauhan, president of the Agra Hotels and Restaurants Association.

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