Come October 19 and you can fly to Dubai from the Chandigarh international airport that will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 11.
Besides, both domestic and international operations will be from the international airport in SAS Nagar. After the inauguration, a months' time will be given for shifting all operations from the existing terminal to the new airport though the airstrip being used will remain the same.
Talking to HT, Viswajeet Khanna, principal secretary (civil aviation) Punjab, said: "October 19 is the deadline for the first international flight from the new terminal. A month's time after inauguration is needed for making the new airport operational after which all flights will take off from the new terminal."
At present, only two airlines have been given permission to operate international flights. Following clearance from the ministry of defence, the schedule of flights to Dubai by two airlines is being finalised by the aviation ministry.
Khanna said 3,000 to 5,000 people travel to Delhi daily to catch flights. After the new terminal gets operational, people will be able to board direct flights from here, he added.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will shift the operations of the domestic flights from the existing building to the new terminal that has been segregated in two terminals- domestic and international.
The existing Chandigarh domestic airport, that handles 26 flights, will be closed and the domestic flights will also be shifted to the new airport. The Chandigarh domestic airport could be used for cargo operations, civil aviation and allied services or as a flying club.
The runway at the Chandigarh airport is managed by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and it is entrusted with the upgrade and expansion of the runway to facilitate big aircraft to operate from the airport.
The runway is 9,000 feet long and suitable for only small aircraft.
The runway needs to be expanded to 10,400 feet, which is expected to be done by January 2017.