'Int'l airport to be ready within a month'
Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel says that the Srinagar International Airport is expected to be made operational in less than a month.Updated: Aug 01, 2008 16:32 IST
After missing two deadlines, the Srinagar International Airport is expected to be made operational in less than a month, with Air India scheduled to operate the first overseas commercial flight from Srinagar to Dubai.
"The work on the airport will be completed within a month. Direct flights will be started to the Gulf in the beginning," Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel told reporters after reviewing the progress of work in Srinagar on Friday.
More overseas flights would be added later on depending on the demand.
The executing agency has so far missed two deadlines -- April 15 and June 30.
The minister also said that an instrument landing system (ILS) would be installed at the airport here, once the Indian Air Force that administers the facility gives its nod.
Patel said Jammu and Kashmir has seen the biggest increase in air traffic growth in terms of percentage over the past three to four years.
"Growth of Air traffic has been more in Jammu and Kashmir compared to the rest of the country. The state is already on priority of improving the infrastructure and we will do whatever is required," he said.
He said Rs 250 crore has been sanctioned for modernising the Jammu airport, while Rs 112 crore has been sanctioned for expansion works at the Leh airport.
Plans are also afoot to operationalise an abandoned air strip at Kishtwar.
The minister said he will take up with the Prime Minister and Home Ministry, the issue of starting helicopter services to connect remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir.