That airport in Vellore in Tamil Nadu may finally become operational soon. On Sunday (1 October), a plane flew low over the facility to conduct tests and calibrate the surrounding air.
The airport in Vellore was initiated under the Union government's UDAN regional connectivity scheme in 2016. However, it has faced numerous challenges along the way, causing doubts about its functionality.
Despite expanding the runway to 850 meters and completing the terminal building a year ago, there seemed to be no progress.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials have confirmed that ground calibration tests have already been completed, and the recent test focused on air calibration reports dtnext.
During the tests, five AAI officials were involved, with two on the ground and three in the aircraft. One of the objectives of the test was to ensure clear visibility of the landing lights on the runway from the air.
To prevent any signal interference, measures were taken to remove trees, water tanks, and buildings over 25 feet in height. The sources expressed hope for a prompt approval to commence operations by December this year.
The facility currently does not have a permanent control tower and is only using a mobile tower. Additionally, fire tenders and an ambulance are available at the airport for emergency situations.
The airport perimeter is fully fenced and the approach road from Abdullapuram has been re-laid, leading officials to believe that the facility will soon become busy with activity.
The airport, sprawling over 97 acres, will have high-resolution lights installed alongside the fence for enhanced security.
Basic infrastructure such as access roads from the Chennai-Bengaluru Highway has been constructed by procuring private land parcels. Additionally, a passenger waiting hall has been set up near the entrance of the airport.
At present, the new airport is equipped with an 850-m runway, taxiway, ground handling equipment, air traffic control (ATC), and an aviation information receiving facility.
It also boasts of a terminal building and an oil depot. The previously existing airstrip, which could only accommodate eight-seater planes, has been upgraded to cater to 20-seater aircraft.
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