The uncertainty over commencement of international flights from Chandigarh International Airport continues, as neither the government of India nor the airlines could give a specific time schedule to the Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday.
IndiGo Airlines, one of the carrier interested in starting an international flight from the city told the HC that it was yet to get central government nod for time slot. Air India also failed to give any schedule and stated that it would be able to give any definite schedule of proposed combo after mid-August.
It came to light that IndiGo had submitted a proposal to the air force authorities for clearance of time slot, but central government counsels were unaware of the development. “Within 48 hours of the receipt of application. The permission would be granted,” assistant solicitor general, Chetan Mittal told the HC.
Appearing for IndiGo, senior advocate ML Sarin told the court that the airline would announce the flight schedule within ten days of receiving the nod about time slot.
HC wants advanced landing system within 3 months
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has proposed to put in place Instrument Landing System, (CAT-IIIB), which helps aircraft in landing during dense fog conditions by April 2018. However, a miffed high court bench of justice SS Saron and justice Lisa Gill wanted it within next three months, before the onset of this winter season.
Mittal told the court that he would seek fresh instructions on this deadline. He added that the ILS system as well as resurfacing was to be done by Air Force, but funds would be given by the AAI.
He added that it would not be possible to get it done within three months. “Otherwise, we will have to close the operation at airport till the time ILS system, runway upgrade is not completed. It is a defence airport,” he said.
Later, the HC posted the matter for next week, asking the central government to reconsider the deadline so that the airport could have the ILS facility at the earliest. The HC also directed the government to consider the IndiGo’s proposal of time slot for international flights.