Airports get nod to scale up, tourism to get wings
Tourism in the Kumaon hills is set to get a boost as the place will soon be accessible to high-end tourists with the Airport Authority of India (AAI) having agreed to develop hi-tech facilities at the Pantnagar airport for landing of big size ATR-72 passenger airplanes, officials said.dehradun Updated: Jul 18, 2015 17:19 IST
Tourism in the Kumaon hills is set to get a boost as the place will soon be accessible to high-end tourists with the Airport Authority of India (AAI) having agreed to develop hi-tech facilities at the Pantnagar airport for landing of big size ATR-72 passenger airplanes, officials said.
According to the officials, the AAI has also given its consent to equip the Jollygrant airport in Dehradun with night-landing facility for aircraft carriers. That means the airport will remain open to 24x7 flight operations.
The AAI has also agreed to develop ground facilities in all the helipads of the state and three airstrips at Pithoragarh, Chinyalisor and Gochar for which it will soon have a tie-up with the Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (Ucada).
“Clearances to all the three projects were given by the AAI authorities at a meeting I had with them in New Delhi recently,” additional chief secretary and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ucada, Rakesh Sharma told HT on Friday.
He said the proposed schemes would be implemented in three phases and would give a boost to tourism in the mountain state.
Pantnagar airport would be taken up in the first phase. “As part of the project, the (Pantnagar) airport would also be equipped with Instrument Landing System (ILS) facilities,” Sharma said adding that the hi-tech facility facilitates safe landing of airplanes even in foggy conditions.
“There is enough space available at the Pantnagar airport to extend the apron for landing of ATR-72 aircraft carriers as the state government has set aside 200 acres of land for the airfield,” Sharma said adding that if required, more land might be sanctioned for the airport.
“Establishments like the industrial estate at Rudrapur and the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Kashipur would be easily accessible to high-end businessmen and academicians. Up-gradation of the Pantnagar airport will get underway by August end and will be completed in the next nine months,” he said.
In the second phase the Jollygrant airport would be equipped with night landing facility by October 1. “That would increase the air traffic to the airport, which in turn would give a boost to high-end tourism in the Garhwal hills,” Sharma said.
The process of setting up ground facilities in all the helipads and three airstrips would be taken up in the third and last phase.