Silchar, Dec 23: In the absence of long distance bus and rail services from here, passengers who are on urgent business or stand in need of advanced medical treatment or those who cannot sustain the strains and stresses of surface transport have no option than to depend upon air services. Though, according to the Airport Authority of India, Kumbhirgram Airport has shown phenomel growth in the volume of passenger and freight traffic, air bound travelers continue to face lot of inconveniences.
Despite their grievances being highlighted in the media and focused in the Parliament by the MPs of this valley, nothing positive has been done by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to alleviate them. Among the inconveniences faced by them relate to the arrival and departure time of the flights, particularly from Kolkata. Presently, there are daily 3 flights from Silchar to Kolkata which are operated by Air India and Jet Airways. Other daily flights also operated by Air India and Jet Airways are for Guwahati and Imphal.
Passengers bound for Kolkata are greatly inconvenienced as the timings of all the flights departing from here are in the morning and after 10 am there is no more flight in that direction. The chilly and bone shattering cold of the winter make it difficult for passengers in general to reach the Airport and catch the flight. Before boarding, they have to go through the long process of security checks and frisking. All the representations of people in general for rescheduling of the departure times of flights have fallen flat. Earlier, Air India flights were in the afternoon also.
Another, demand has been for introduction of more flights. Since passengers are badly affected by the high fares, demand has also been raised for allowing low fare flights like IndiGo and Spice Jet from here. But, all in vain. Moreover, the Airport is ready for night landing facility and it is almost more than 3 years. The Indian Air Force which controls the Airport is yet to give clearance for night landing. This facility, according to a source in the airport, says can provide the scope for more flights from here.