In­ter­na­tional flights: de­fence min­istry’s per­mis­sion awaited

HT Ludhiana Live - - In & Around - Jy­ot­sna Jalali chdlivedesk@hin­dus­tan­times.com

CHANDI­GARH: Prox­im­ity to the air force sta­tion is prov­ing to be a hur­dle in car­ry­ing out var­i­ous plans of the city air­port and the up­com­ing air­port in SAS Na­gar.

Be it the de­lay in start­ing of the in­ter­na­tional flights or start­ing the con­struc­tion work of the in­ter­na­tional air­port, the air force sta­tion is caus­ing some or the other de­lay.

Re­cently, the Air Arabai had an­nounced to start a flight to Shar­jah, how­ever the same is yet to take off.

Though the air­port au­thori- ties say that they are ready to han­dle the in­ter­na­tional flight, it is the de­fence min­istry’s per­mis­sion that is a cause of de­lay.

Speak­ing to the Hin­dus­tan Times, air­port con­troller HS Toor said, “We are ready to han­dle the in­ter­na­tional flight. We have also got cus­toms and im­mi­gra­tion clear­ance, but we are still await­ing per­mis­sion from the de­fence min­istry to the air­lines.”

Au­thor­i­ties say any air­lines will­ing to carry out in­ter­na­tional op­er­a­tions needs to take per­mis­sion from the de­fence min­istry, since the N-area falls in the vicin­ity of the city air­port.

Fol­low­ing the per­mis­sion from the de­fence min­istry, the air­lines need to get an ap­proval from Direc­torate Gen­eral of Civil Avi­a­tion (DGCA).

Mean­while, the de­fence min- istry is also hold­ing up the de­vel­op­ment of the up­com­ing in­ter­na­tional air­port in SAS Na­gar, as it is yet to take a de­ci­sion on whether or not it will part with the land, which is re­quired for the ex­pan­sion of air­port.

In all around five acres are re­quired for the ex­pan­sion of the ex­ist­ing air­port as well as for the up­com­ing in­ter­na­tional air­port in SAS Na­gar. How­ever the de­fence min­istry is yet to take a fi­nal call on the mat­ter.

An­other ma­jor is­sue, which in­volves the air force sta­tion, is the watch-out hours at the city air­port.

Watch-out hours are the time dur­ing which var­i­ous flights can take off and land at the air­port. As of now the same is from 7 am to 7: 30 pm. The air­port au­thor­i­ties for long have been re­quest­ing the air force au­thor­i­ties to in­crease the watch-out hours, but in vain.

On many oc­ca­sions, the flights ar­riv­ing from Mum­bai and Delhi have to re­turn in case they are late, as they are not al­lowed to land, which re­sults in ma­jor ha­rass­ment to the pas­sen­gers.

The air­port au­thor­i­ties say they have been work­ing out these is­sues with the de­fence min­istry and hope that a res­o­lu­tion would be achieved soon.

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