Chandigarh’s international airport remains a domestic one
Chandigarh: It got a flying start, literally, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Chandigarh’s new airport terminal in Septem-ber with much fanfare. But Chandigarh’s first step towards international air connectivity seems grounded - at least for the moment. The Chandigarh International Airport project, which was to connect the ‘City Beautiful’ to destinations like Dubai and other places like Bangkok, has not taken off and the city is unlikely to see any international flight in the near future. Though there were earlier announcements, from the Punjab government, that the Chandigarh airport would see its first international flight taking off from here on October 19, nothing happened. The next date speculated on was Nov 19 but that too did not materialise. The Chandigarh airport, which is operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and is under the Ministry of Defence, does not have adequate facilities for flights to land and take off in fog. The IAF authorities do not allow commercial flights to operate between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. from Chandigarh airport. The airport, which is a forward base for the huge IL-76 transport aircraft, is used by the IAF for air connectivity to Leh, Srinagar and other areas.