Madurai holds big potential for air traffic growth

Chennai, March 21 | Updated: Mar 22 2006, 06:56am hrs
The domestic and international air traffic from and to Madurai is estimated to grow to 6.15 lakh from the 3.01 lakh now. It may touch 15.30 lakh by 2026. Total cargo potential is also expected to go up to 2960 tonnes by 2011 from the current 1642 tonnes. It may reach 7224 tonnes by 2026.

These are some of the findings of the study conducted by PriceWaterhouse Coopers for the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Tamil Nadu. The study was released here on Tuesday.

The government would be investing Rs 150 crore in a phased manner to upgrade Madurai airport. This would enable the airport to handle 24 flights daily, enough to meet the projected traffic in the short and medium term. With additional investments the airport can be converted into an international airport.

The increase in air traffic is an impact of low cost aviation which helps in converting train traffic to air, says the study.

A significant proportion of air travellers from Trichy and Chennai belong to southern Tamil Nadu.

Tourism growth in Madurai was likely with the promotion of niche tourism products such as medical tourism, and chartered tourism as well as the initiative of the government to promote tourism in Tamil Nadu as a whole.

The air traffic is also set to grow thanks to the industrial growth of Madurai and its hinterland.

The prospects for IT and ITES industries, the expansion of rubber, textiles and autocomponents units, and development of industrial clusters around the port city of Tuticorin are also catalysers for increased passenger and cargo traffic through Madurai.