Three years on, nothing international about Chandigarh airport
No ATM in check-in and international arrival area; no foreign exchange currency counterUpdated: Oct 21, 2019 00:11 IST
Even though the Chandigarh airport got the international status in 2016 and round-the-clock operations at the airport started in March this year, however, it still lacks basic facilities.
A visit to the place revealed that there is no ATM in check-in and international arrival area.
A frequent traveller Surinder Bahga said, “The check-in and international arrival areas should have an ATM as sometimes people have to pay extra duty and they are not allowed to go out.”
Though there are three ATM machines, one at parking area outside the airport, at domestic arrival area and in domestic security hold area.
There is no foreign exchange currency counter and passengers have to get the currency exchanged from Chandigarh or Mohali. Even the crew of Indigo airlines, which flies to Dubai, have to get the currency exchange outside the airport.
The concerned authorities have failed to appoint an airport health officer, mandatory for every international airport. The officer’s duty is check the incoming international passengers for any virus entering in India.
Though, there are signage for information desk, but there is no counter for the same in the arrival area.
Spokesperson for Chandigarh International Airport Limited (CHIAL), Prince Dildar said,“We have floated tenders for ATM machines and foreign exchange currency counter. Also, we have requested the state government to provide an airport health officer.”
The airport has information desk besides the reserved lounge, he said.
Presently, there are 32 domestic flights and two international flights- Dubai and Sharjah, operational from Chandigarh International Airport.
CAT-3 installation delayed again
Like previous years, commuters planning to travel from the international airport this winter should brace for cancellation of flights as installation of the CAT-3 instrument landing system (ILS) at the airport has been delayed again.
An ILS allows the pilots to land when they are unable to establish a visual contact with the runway, especially in case of poor visibility.
Fog and inclement weather affects visibility and hits operations at the Chandigarh airport every winter, especially during the peak season in December and January.
The CAT-3 system permits flight operations even when visibility drops to as low as 50 metres. At present, the airport has CAT-2 system, which works only till as low as 350m visibility. An aircraft requires at least 100m visibility to land safely. The project will be completed by October next year.
The daily footfall is 7,000 (both arrival and departure)
The operational hours are 6.15am to 10.50pm
Facilities available include capacity of 1,600 passengers, facility of 500 cars in parking, six escalators, 14 lifts, 186 CCTV cameras, state-of-art intelligent addressable system