Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday asked the Centre to extend the ATC watch hours of the capital up to IST 0100 for international flight operations from the city.
In a letter to Union Defence Minister A K Antony, Badal asked him to direct the Air Force authorities to extend the Air Traffic Control (ATC) watch hours of Chandigarh up to IST 0100 hrs for international flight operations from the city at the earliest.
He said "the Ministry of Civil Aviation had already granted approval to the Chandigarh airport as an international point of call to the designated Fly Dubai airline to commence its flight operations".
The Chief Minister pointed out that the Dubai airline intended to start its operations from the city airport from the third week of July, but it had been denied permission by the Indian Air Force authorities as the present ATC watch hours here are up to 2000 hrs irrespective of the sunset timings.
"Whereas the Fly Dubai's aircraft intends landing at Chandigarh at 2330 hrs and departing at 0030 hrs," he said, adding the Ministry of External Affairs had acknowledged the same to the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates.
Badal said that the extension of ATC hours would fulfill the long pending demand of the state and the area for the commencement of international flights from Chandigarh.