Tirupati airport gets international status

October 8th, 2008 - 10:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) The government Wednesday granted the internation status to the domestic airport at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.Once Tirupati is upgraded as an international airport, it would improve air connectivity and services at competitive costs to air travellers, besides promoting tourism and economic development of the region, said Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, briefing reporters after the cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

It will be the 18th international airport in India.

The decision has been taken in view of the large turnout of pilgrims in Tirupati, home to a popular Hindu shrine, a civil aviation ministry official said.

International visitors reach Tirupati via Bangalore, Chennai or Hyderabad. The official said once Tirupati airport is upgraded, flights would directly operate from Tirupati to international destinations, which would save money and time.

In 2007-08, the airport handled 169,333 passengers, comparing to 80,830 travellers in 2005-06.

India has 126 airports, which include 17 international, 89 domestic and 26 civil enclaves at defence airfields in the country.

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