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The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that India has the potential to become global aviation hub for MRO (Maintenance Repair and Overhaul) in view of the growing aviation business, huge pool of engineering talent and low labour costs. He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the first International Flight from Vijayawada to Singapore and laying foundation stone for the Integrated Passenger Terminal Building at Vijayawada Airport, in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.

The Vice President said that the International Flight from Vijayawada to Singapore that would further enhance the connectivity as well as Andhra Pradesh's business and tourism potential. He further said that the state of the art new terminal will spread in 35000 Sqm is being developed with Rs 611 crores budget to handle 1200 passengers per day with 24 Check-in counters and 8 gates. The terminal would also accommodate parking facility for 1250 four wheelers, he said. A total of 14 immigration counters, 3 customs counters, 5 baggage belts would be installed for the convenience of international and domestic passengers, he added.

The Vice President said that the new Air connectivity between Andhra Pradesh and Singapore would increase India's reach in South East Asia. Andhra Pradesh would become aviation gateway between the two prospering regions and it will boost tourism, he added. The Vice President tasked the state government to actively promote tourism especially the Budhist Circuit along with other tourist attractions in the state.

He appreciated the efforts of the State and Central governments in facilitating the state of Andhra Pradesh with Air Connectivity under UDAAN Scheme. He said that the scheme would enable greater connectivity between Vijayawada, Hyderabad and Chennai. The Vice President said that the recent aviation initiatives such as development of Vizag Airport at the cost of 90 Crores, extension of runway at Rajahmundry Airport at the cost of 125 Crore and extension of runway at Tirupati Airport at the cost of 114 Crore would give philip to the growth prospects of the state.

Calling aviation sector as the backbone of the global transport system, Naidu said that was indeed an important driver of the economy and the most vital sector for linking businesses, bringing people together and promoting tourism worldwide. Growth in aviation sector would yield positive results in promoting connectivity and creating jobs, he added.

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