The Tiruchi international airport handled over 3.3 lakh international passengers and more than 1.5 lakh domestic passengers during 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, says the airport’s officiating airport director J. Unnikrishnan. It had operated more than 1,000 flights to one destination, Singapore, in 2021, which is a milestone that no other airport can claim.
Unnikrishnan was addressing the gathering at Tiruchi airport after unfurling the national flag on Republic Day 2022. Unnikrishnan accredited the achievements of Tiruchi airport to the teamwork and dedication of all departments and stakeholders, primarily the staff.
Tiruchi airport had handled 3,199 domestic flights and more than 3,000 international flights last year. International cargo transported from the Tiruchi airport was 4,659 metric tonnes during 2021.
The passenger traffic had reached 80-90% of the pre-COVID period by December 2021. The international flight services are yet to commence due to the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite COVID-19, ongoing civil works at the airport were underway on a war footing.
Tiruchi airport air cargo terminal temporarily closed
Meanwhile, the airport’s international air cargo terminal is temporarily closed with effect from January 9 due to administrative reasons. In a communication to all IATA Agents and airlines, the Airport Director requested them not to book or accept any cargo for export through the international air cargo terminal from January 9 till further notice. The date and time of resumption of export cargo operations are not intimated yet.
According to a Customs notification issued earlier, the Airports Authority of India, Tiruchi, will be the custodian of the International Express Courier Cargo Terminal, where loading, handling, storage, and transhipment courier consignments will be done in accordance with the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962. The custodianship has been awarded for a term of five years, beginning on the date of the notification. Officials from Customs would only be involved in the clearance of courier products.
Tiruchi Airport and Tiruchi Customs Commissionerate would both benefit from international courier operations. Furthermore, instead of delivering gift items through Chennai and Bengaluru airports, the people might send them via courier from Tiruchi to their loved ones abroad.