Good news for Surat! Now, Surtis will soon be able to fly abroad from their own city. With the central government notifying the airport as customs airport, it has now got the status of an international airport. Not only it will be good for tourists, the business community, essentially, will get a huge benefit.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is ready to begin the processes once they get confirmation from the local commissioner of customs, to go ahead with setting up of X-ray machines and immigration counters.
As per the notification, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has notified Surat airport as customs airport through its notification under section 7 of the Customs Act, 1962 issued on June 8.
“This notification is from the Department of Revenue. We now need one more notification from the local commissioner of customs and only after that, we can go ahead with immigration and other formalities. Since immigration will come from the Ministry of Home Department, the state government has agreed to give retired police people on deputation. We will now have to get in touch with Surat police commissioner or the Director General of Police for the same. In one months time, everything should be stelled,” Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, AAI said.
“Air India Express previously wanted to fly abroad. I am not sure whether they would want to fly now, we will be asking other airlines too”, he added. The AAI had proposed the CBEC to approve customs at the airport in November-2016.
Guj economy to get a fillip
Diamond merchant and director of Ventura Ishwar Dholakia said, “It is a great news. After Ahmedabad, South Gujarat is a hub in terms of economy and finances. The international airport will bring immense growth to our city. Even, the cargo can now come to Surat from Mumbai. I believe the credit has to be given to all Surtis, including diamond merchants, businessmen, traders, industrialists, officials from the airport, AAI chairman, etc. For us, now we have easy access to Dubai whereas, for textile traders who look for embroidery, access to middle-east has become very easy. This has opened the world for us.”
(As per news records)