The Sahnewal airport started functioning in April 2011, but owing to the poor facilities, it has become the Achilles' heel of the city.
A large number of flights get cancelled at the last minute, thereby causing inconvenience to passengers, who have no option but to change their travelling plans in the nick of time.
However, the problem will soon be sorted as having taken an initiative to make the airport fully functional in a span of six months, Ludhiana deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari has got a go ahead from the principal secretary civil aviation, Punjab and Chandigarh.
The principal secretary civil aviation has got the grants sanctioned from the funding agency, PIDB, for the pending projects, which were causing cancellation of the flights.
To deal with repeated complaints from locals, Tewari called a meeting of officials from the Airport Authority of India, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), Public Works Department (PWD) and the sub-divisional magistrate, Ludhiana (East), on March 15.
Thereafter, he forwarded an estimate for laying down of roads, shifting of high tension lines and re-installing the cables going to the tubewells to Viswajeet Khanna, principal secretary civil aviation, Punjab and Chandigarh. The estimated amount of all the works is Rs 1.46 crore.
The representation sent to the principal secretary civil aviation included that of roads connecting the Sahnewal airport to Ludhiana, which are in dilapidated condition.
A stretch of 200 metres on one of the roads has been acquired for installation of Doppler VHF omni-directional radio range (DVOR) and navigational equipment at the Sahnewal airport. XEN PWD (B&R), provincial division, Ludhiana, has already been directed to start the construction of these roads.
Shifting of high-tension (HT) wires was another obstacle that was causing inordinate delay in the upgrade of the Sahnewal airport. SDO, PSPCL, Sahnewal, had made an estimate of Rs 1.36 crore for undergrounding the HT Lines and having got an approval for the same, the PSPCL will initiate the work.
Similarly, cables going to the tubewells were hampering the flights, thus there is a need to reinstall them at a height of 8 ft. SDO, PSPCL, Sahnewal, prepared an estimate of Rs 2.22 lakh, which has been duly approved.
Tewari said, "We are taking all possible measures to streamline things at the Sahnewal airport and I am sure that there will be uninterrupted flights in the next few months."