Here's some vital information for those considering a trip to the Andamans and Nicobar Islands. From March 1 to May 31, 2022, the Port Blair airport, also known as Veer Savarkar International Airport, will be closed for four days each week. The Civil Aviation Department of the Andaman and Nicobar administration has issued a notification regarding the closure. The runway is being upgraded and re-carpeted during the period of closure.
The renovation will cause major disruptions to daily flights to Andamans and Nicobar Islands and the tourists visiting the island. There are currently about 12 daily flights providing services in and out of the Port Blair airport. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, around 22 flights operated from the airport.
The decision to close Veer Savarkar International Airport did not go well with the travel industry and associations in the region. The association pointed out that the closure will significantly impact tourism in the area. Tourism is a substantial stream of revenue in Andamans and Nicobar Islands, and the decision to close down airport four days a week will certainly have severe repercussions on the industry.
“Kind request to reconsider NOTAMN C0030/22 with effective from 01/03/2022 to 31/05/2022 regarding RWY closure four days a week amidst AAI Port Blair Airport runway maintenance and upgrading work, which may deeply affect the lifeline of the islands,” the Tourism Association of Andaman & Nicobar (TAAN) said in a statement.
Associations Request Ministry to Reconsider the Port Blair Airport Closure
All stakeholders are now urging that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Ministry of Civil Aviation, and the Ministry of Defence reconsider their renovation decision and investigate all options to avoid the runway closure at Port Blair airport.
Some travellers have taken the issue to Twitter, where they have notified that the airlines are not taking bookings for three days and are not rescheduling the existing bookings. Many have requested the Port Blair airport officials to release an official statement regarding the changes.
Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair is a civil enclave under the control of the Indian Navy. AAI manages the passenger terminal and apron. There are six parking stands in the apron that can accommodate code C-type aircraft. While the place accounts for 93% domestic tourists, 7% are foreign tourists.