(Last Updated on : 24-03-2009)
Madurai Airport is situated at Madurai in Tamil Nadu, India. It is a public airport serving only domestic purposes. The airport is situated at a distance of 13 kilometres from the Madurai railway station. The airport is well connected with cities like Bangalore, Chennai, and Mumbai. The airport authority has propounded to made the airport an international one. According to K. Ramalingam, Regional Executive Director (Southern Region), "Airports Authority of India had gone on record that except immigration facilities, all other infrastructure was available at the Madurai airport and, if required, officials could be diverted from Tiruchi and Thiruvananthapuram". But he made it clear that the call for for upgradation should come up from the airlines.
According to CII, if the airport becomes international, air traffic will drastically increase. They have also projected a growth in the international and domestic cargo movement. The present situation is such that passengers from southern districts have to reach Chennai, Tiruchi or Thiruvananthapuram to take international flights. Air Deccan (Bangalore, Chennai); Indian (Chennai, Mumbai); Jet Airways (Chennai) and Paramount Airways (Chennai) are the only airlines operating from Madurai Airport.
The Madurai Airport has also undertaken a series of development and expansion projects that will cost Rs. 150 crore. The project involves the launch of Madurai's own airline, Paramount Airways, and mega projects lined up for southern districts, pointing towards upgradation of the airport.
Extension and rennovation process on the upgradation of Madurai Airport is in progress. The upgradation process has been planned phase-wise. At present the airport has two parking bases. Runway of the Madurai Airport is 6,000-ft long and the arrival and departure capacity of the terminal building is 50 passengers each. Expansion of the runway from 6,000 ft to 7,500 ft, creation of an isolated base and five parking bases are the works included in Phase-I. Phase-I will cost around Rs 22 crore. This phase of work was started in the end of 2005 and forty per cent of the work on phase-I is complete. Contract of Phase-I was awarded to PNCRDS, an Agra-based consortium. Construction of a Rs 2-crore fire station work within the airport premises is in progress.
Phase-II expansion work of the terminal building will be taken up soon. Madurai Airport is considered one of the 35 non-metro airports under upgradation. The airport has nominated UTI Bank and Vienna Airport syndicates to study the viability of city side development to earn non-aeronautical revenue.