Foreign nationals traveling to India can fly directly to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands starting January 1, with the government designating the Port Blair airport as an authorised immigration check post for entry into and exit from India with valid travel documents.
“In pursuance of sub-rule (b) of rule 3 of the Passport (Entry into India) Rules, 1950, the Central government hereby designates Port Blair airport of Union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands as an authorised immigration check post for entry into/exit from India with valid travel documents for all classes of passengers,” a Home Ministry notification issued on December 30 said.
In another notification, the Home Ministry appointed the Superintendent of Police, CID, the Andaman and Nicobar Police, as the “civil authority” for the immigration check post at Port Blair airport with effect from December 31, 2018. The decision came on Sunday, the same day Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the renaming of three islands in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago as a tribute to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose – Ross Island was renamed Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Dweep, Neil Island as Shaheed Dweep, and Havelock Island as Swaraj Dweep.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, in which 38 out of 572 island are inhabited, is a union territory and comes under the administrative control of the Home Ministry. It is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the country, receiving an average of four lakh tourists annually, which includes several thousand foreigners.
According to data available with the Home Ministry, more than 16 lakh tourists visited Andaman and Nicobar Islands between January 2015 and October 2018.