Airports Authority of India (AAI) is about to provide international airport facilities at aiports in places with tourism potential. Recently, AAI sanctioned eight airports to be made into international airports, Agra, Bhubaneshwar, Coimbatore, Mangalore, Lucknow and even Varanasi feature in this list.
Whether these airport would be able to attract foreign carriers is a matter of speculation. AAI chairman, VP Agarwal, said that these places are big tourist spots and having international airports would further tourism. This is why AAI will be setting up facilities required for international travel. “This means that we are enabling them to operate international flights. The facilities include setting up immigration and customs counters and personnel. Security personnel for the international operations will also be provided,” said Agarwal. “After that, foreign airlines can operate if they like to,” he added.
AAI officials said that these airports will take at least one year to be operational with international facilities. Also, till now there is no interest from any airline operating abroad. “We will know their success once international facilities are operational,” said a senior AAI official.