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Madurai Air Force Station
Present day Madurai Airport had been established as Madurai AFS for the military training purposes to cater to Air Force training needs. It has seen fast growth over the period and now boasts with an integrated terminal building. The airport is now operated and owned by Airports Authority of India. Soon after the airport getting node for commercial operation, there occurred drastic change in operation. Today this airport is very much accessible by public with best attempts to commercialize it to benefit the common masses.
Mainly serving the visitors to Madurai and nearby areas in southern state of Tamil Nadu in India, Madurai AFS has been receiving ample rush and air traffic ever since attempts were made to promote this airport into one for commercial operation. The Air Force activities still continue in the airport which is located at an elevation of 136m/446ft., with its geographic coordination at 09°50′01″N 078°05′22″E.
Madurai AFS terminal is big enough with total 17,560 m2 area to handle nearly 250 passengers in one go in arrival and departure sections. Parking area of this airport is large enough to house 375 cars and 10 buses with the present capacity. With 16 check-in counters, 20 immigration counters, 1 security counter, 7 customs counters and 3 conveyor belts of 47m each, this airport has developed into one of the fast emerging airports in the region where total 7 aircrafts can stand in one go. Airport terminal with two lounges serves to large chunk of passengers.
There is unique history behind the establishment of Madurai AFS in southern part of India. Established in 1956, although an initiative was to train the Air Forces but the sooner this airport was turned into a customs airport for commercial operation. The moment its status changed fast developments followed. This airport remains a major location in Madurai to serve people through air. Its nearness to the Madurai Railway station at mere 12 kilometers eases the passengers for easy access to their onward journeys through railways.
The Royal Air Force would have used the then Madurai airfield during World War II in 1942. It was developed into an airbase post India’s independence. Since then, further developments have continued which made it one of the key commercial airports in this region. It was in the year 1956 that first passenger flight took off from Madurai AFS which was a Fokker Friendship aircraft planned for operation in Madras—Madurai—Trivandrum route.
Indian Airlines started operation of Boeing 737 during the 1970s while Madurai was completely developed into a full-fledged commercial airport. This airport has gained ample popularity today with its modern infrastructure after the total US$24 million investment recently. The resultant developments are integrated passenger terminal building coming into operation from 2010. This airport has now become one of the prominent ones in this region which connects to different destinations in domestic and international sectors.
Madurai AFS has state of the art runway which was developed in 610 acres of land. Previous runway of this airport had been extended further to cater to the growing needs of commercial operation. The new runway is therefore 12,500 ft., long and is capable enough to accommodate large jet aircrafts. It indicates how this airport has developed into leaps and bounds. Main runway of Madurai AFS is 2,285m×45m and caters to the growing air traffic needs for flights operating in various sectors.