The Chandigarh International Airport was on Wednesday officially named as Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport as a mark of tribute to the legendary freedom fighter on his 115th birth anniversary.
The Chandigarh Airport belongs to the Indian Air Force (IAF). The Chandigarh International Airport Limited is a Joint Venture of AAI, Punjab government and the Haryana government. Presently, the airport is connected to Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kangra, Kolkata, Kullu, Leh, Lucknow, Mumbai, Patna, Pune and Srinagar (J&K). Internationally, the city is connected to Dubai and Sharjah.
The airport handled 17,936 international passengers and 2,271,233 domestic passengers in 2021-2022. In addition to this, the airport has also handled about 11,000 MT of domestic air cargo in the Financial Year 2021-2022.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ Radio broadcast on September 25 had said that the airport will be named after Shaheed Bhagat Singh as a tribute to the great freedom fighter.
Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance unveiled the plaque in the presence of Bandaru Dattatreya, Governor, Haryana; Banwarilal Purohit, Governor, Punjab & Administrator of Chandigarh; Bhagwant Mann, Chief Minister, Punjab, and other dignitaries.
While addressing the gathering Nirmala Sitharaman said, “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav today is reaching all corners of the country. Every time we see the faces of our worthy freedom fighters, their names on our public buildings, we remember the sacrifices done by their generations. We don’t take our freedom for granted”.
While addressing the audience, V.K. Singh, MoS for Civil Aviation said that the naming of Chandigarh airport after Bhagat Singh is a prestigious moment for the whole nation.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann urged the Centre to start more international flights from Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport in Chandigarh to facilitate the Punjabi diaspora across the globe.
The Chief Minister said that Punjab diaspora from across the globe has been demanding such flights to ensure air connectivity from the state to Canada, the US, Australia and other parts of the world. He said besides commuters from Punjab, these flights will also benefit the travellers from Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir and other states.