Salem Airport (India)
Salem Vimana Nilaiyam
|Owner||Government of India|
|Operator||Airports Authority of India|
|Serves||Salem, Namakkal, Karur|
Erode, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri.
|Location||Kamalapuram, Salem, Tamil Nadu|
|Elevation AMSL||307 m / 1,008 ft|
|Statistics (April 2018 - March 2019)|
Salem Airport (IATA: SXV, ICAO: VOSM) is located in Kamalapuram, Omalur Taluk, 19 kilometres north-west of Salem, Tamil Nadu, India. Salem Airport is the sixth busiest airport in Tamil Nadu after Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli, Madurai and Tuticorin.
Salem airport was constructed in April 1993 at a cost of Rs. 6 Crore, covering a sprawling 136 acres extensively donated by local traders and industrialists. A total of Rs. 49 lakh, including Rs. 30 lakh by Salem Steel Plant. Originally planned for Vayudoot services using small aircraft and conceived with a 1,350-metre runway, it was expanded by another 600 meters to accommodate bigger planes. Initially, NEPC Airlines operated flights on the Chennai–Salem–Coimbatore–Chennai sector using Fokker F-27 aircraft. however, the airline withdrew the service after three months citing ‘non-viability’ as it's the main reason. The Salem airport lay in disuse since then as no airline was willing to invest in this sector. Although the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had spruced up the airport and made it ready for operation, airlines did not show interest to fly, fearing low patronage. In 2006, Air Deccan agreed to kickstart its Salem operations but only if the local industry deposited at least Rs 90 lakh or gave a commitment for 50% bookings. Meanwhile, Air Deccan merged with Kingfisher Airlines. Kingfisher Airlines did provide a service from Chennai, but terminated the service in 2012 owing to its financial problems.
After a 3-year wait and prolonged negotiations, Kingfisher airlines commenced daily flights to Chennai using its ATR aircraft on 15 November 2009. The service was withdrawn on 28 October 2011, again citing poor patronage.
In all probability flight service from Salem airport under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) of the Ministry of Civil Aviation is likely to commence by December 2017.
G.K. Chaukiyal, Executive Director (RCS) at Airports Authority of India (AAI), in an e-mail message to K. Mariappan, president of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Salem, has said that the Hyderabad-based Turbo Megha Airways Private Limited has intimated the AAI of commencing the flight service from Salem airport in the first week of December. Air Odisha is likely to commence its operation from Salem airport by the middle of February next year. It may be recalled that the AAI has already signed MoUs with these flight operators.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation had changed the status of Salem Airport to “served airport” from “underserved and unserved” status, to enable the introduction of flight service.
Salem Airport has one runway, oriented 040/220 degrees, 6000 feet long. Its 100 by 75-meter apron is capable of handling 2 ATR aircraft, while its terminal building can cater to 100 passengers. Navigational facilities at Salem include VHF radio, PAPI and an NDB.
Airlines and Destinations
Flight training and pilot training centers
The excellent conditions prevailing at Salem Airport are highly suitable for flight training. Salem Airport is now the hotspot for the establishment of flight training and pilot training centers in southern India. Given the state of the art infrastructure available here, it is an ideal training airport and base for aspiring pilots. The reputed air charter operator based in Salem (Salem Air) has started pilot training services. Salem Aviation Services and the Salem Flying Club operate from Salem airport. Its already home to two flying schools based at Salem.
- "Traffic News for the month of March 2019: Annexure-III" (PDF). Airports Authority of India. 29 April 2018. p. 3. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
- "Traffic News for the month of January 2019: Annexure-II" (PDF). Airports Authority of India. 1 March 2019. p. 3. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
- Airport information for VOMM at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
- Airport information for MAA at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective October 2006).
- "Salem airport is all set to get a new lease of life". The Hindu. 19 August 2006. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- "Salem airport back in operation after Kingfisher starts Chennai-Salem service". The Times of India. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- "More flying schools land in Salem airport as commercial flights shut". The Times of India. 28 December 2011. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
- "Status upgrade for Salem airport". The Hindu. 16 November 2017. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
- "AAI website". Archived from the original on 10 August 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2012.