The airport at Virk Kalan village near Bathinda will become operation with flights to commence on December 4, said Union food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Tuesday.
In her speech during the foundation-laying of a parking project in Bathinda, the local MP said this “will prove a milestone in the development of Punjab”. It’s been over four years since the airport was constructed with an investment of Rs 25 crore. The Punjab government had provided 40 acres of land for it adjacent to the Bhisiana Indian Air Force (IAF) station.
An official of Air India (AI) and another from Alliance Air, a subsidiary of AI, had met representatives of trade and industry here last week to assess the viability of starting flights.
Airports Authority of India has constructed the building and manages it while the runway and occasional, private air traffic is being looked after by the IAF. The 9000-ft runway is according to standards required for big planes, but the apron can accommodate only two 50-seater aircrafts at a time.
The SAD-BJP government has been facing flak for failing to get started flights from the airport, a dream project of Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, despite having promised to do so during campaigning in the 2014 parliament polls. The SAD-BJP had blamed the previous, Congress-led UPA government at the Centre for not starting flights from Bathinda.