The members of Amritsar Vikas Manch, an NGO working in the field of civic issues, have said that Sree Guru Ram Das International Airport has the potential to make profit and there was a lack of will on the part of those in authority to turn its fortunes around.
They added that the adoption of hub and spoke system is not compatible with Indian conditions.
Harjap Singh Aujla, an NRI from the US and a member of AVM, said that the US is a country with uniformity in population demographics where bigger cities serve as hubs and the smaller ones as spoke stations.
Aujla said he firmly believed that the old pattern of connectivity was more suitable for India.
"Before merger with Air India, Indian Airlines was profitable. It was connecting North East and Andaman Nicobar islands with Kolkata, South Indian cities with Chennai and Mumbai and North Indian cities with New Delhi," Aujla said. According to Aujla, the Amritsar airport enjoys a unique strategic location.
"Nearly two and a half million people from the districts surrounding this airport are settled in the UK, Canada and the United States. Amritsar is fully capable of generating 300 passengers for each of the cities of Birmingham, Toronto, Vancouver and London. But these flights are sadly not being started," he rued.
Charanjit Singh Gumtala, Mohan Singh, Daljit Singh Kohli, Manmohan Singh Brar and Onkar Singh Sandhu, all AVM members, were also present.