The government Thursday decided to upgrade five airports -- Tiruchirapalli, Coimbatore, Mangalore, Lucknow and Varanasi -- to the international level.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCI), at its meeting here, approved a proposal for the upgradation of the five airports which have the required infrastructure in place like large terminal, immigration and customs facility to handle international operations.
"These airports already have infrastructure like immigration and customs to handle the international operations. In fact some of them already do have some international flights. With this (decision) we expect that these airports will be able to attract more international flights and travellers," Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said after the CCEA meeting.
An international airport is one that can accommodate international flights that requires separate layers for immigrations and customs including high end facilities at the terminal like aerobridges and mandatory runway length to accommodate jets.
Currently, all of the five airports are servicing at least one international operations from airlines like Air India Express, FlyDubai, Air Asia, Thai Airways and Mihin Lanka.
While, Air India Express services international passengers from Tiruchi and Mangalore airports, Thai Airways brings travellers to Varanasi and FlyDubai connects Lucknow with Dubai.