Veer Savarkar International Airport
Andaman and Nicobar Islands archipelago has its only International airport in Port Blair. It is named as the Veer Savarkar International Airport (IXZ). Port Blair is the capital city of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This airport is named after the famous freedom fighter Veer Savarkar or Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who took an active part in rebelling against the British rule in India. The great freedom fighter lives his legend through the name of the only international and major airport of the island group. Veer Savarkar had spent 10 painful years as a political prisoner confined in a solitary cell of the infamous Cellular Jail.
This airport caters to mainly day-time flights and has very rare night landings in Port Blair. One can avail direct flights to all the major cities of India from Veer Savarkar Airport. Connectivity with the cities like Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Bangalore and Mumbai are through direct flights. Also, foreign chartered flights land at this airport at times only after they receive prior permission to land at Port Blair, given that they strictly adhere to the guidelines of the Director General of Civil Aviation. Direct flights from other major Indian cities take varying time to reach Port Blair. The closest cities take around 2.5 hours. While the distant locations such as flights from Delhi fly with a stopover at Kolkata or Bhubaneswar and thus take approximately 5 hours journey time in all.
The main flight operators connecting Veer Savarkar Airport to the other major intersections of the mainland are Jet Airways, Air India, SpiceJet, Go-air, Indigo and Vistara are the main flight operators for the islands. Restricted Area Permits are required to operate through Veer Savarkar Airport and thus only about 747 operators run services from Port Blair. Sea Plane Service Jal Hans also operates from Port Blair Airport.
The civilian terminal is operated by the Airports Authority of India. All other air traffic movement to and from Port Blair Airport is strictly under the supervision of the Indian Navy. The Veer Savarkar Airport has only one terminal with two gates. It does not possess any aerobridge. Buses are used for transportation from the terminal to the parked aircraft. But the airport is so small that very often the passengers walk to the lounge area after landing instead of waiting for the buses to get transported.
One finds a lot of good, budget and luxury airports around the Veer Savarkar Airport keeping in mind that the airport terminal is a must and only accessible point for tourists and travellers flowing in and out of the islands.