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Mangalore airport's international status under question

May 22, 2010 18:41 IST

In a setback to the Managlore airport, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said he would "re-look" into the international status to be given to the Mangalore airport following Saturday's air crash.

At a press conference on Saturday, the minister said the issue would be taken up at the cabinet level and discussed.

Money is not the issue in developing the airport, but certain aspects regarding safety and other factors have to be discussed before going ahead, he said.

This would mean that the airport would have a 'Custom' status, with which the airport can operate a restricted number of international flights with the existing infrastructure.

The minister further said there was a proposal to increase the runway length to 9,000 m against the existing 7,000 m. This too would be taken up for consideration, he said.

The miniister said all assistance would be given to the families of victims and added that a probe had been ordered.

Meanwhile, rescue operations are almost coming to a close. The police said they were looking for two more bodies and should be able to find them soon.

This brings the toll of recovered bodies to 156 of the total 158 deaths.
Vicky Nanjappa