After detailed deliberations between J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, a slew of announcements have been made to strengthen the aviation infrastructure in the Union Territory, officials said on Saturday.
Sinha said that Scindia and the J&K government have agreed to start the first international flight between Srinagar and Sharjah soon, ending the long-pending demand of the UT to have direct international connectivity.
“Similarly, the runway at the Jammu airport has been enhanced and 30 per cent load penalty at Jammu airport will be removed from October 1. It will provide huge relief to the airlines and passengers. We have also decided to build a new airport terminal adjacent to the existing airport in Jammu. The land measuring 122 acres has already been identified. It will soon be handed over to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to build a state-of-the-art 25,000 sq mt new terminal building,” Sinha said.
Scindia said during a press conference that construction of a new terminal building in Srinagar will start soon at a cost of around Rs 1,500 crore. The new terminal in Jammu airport will come up at a cost of Rs 600 crore.
“The decision will provide economic stimulus as well as employment opportunities in both the divisions. The Centre is implementing schemes in the UT in a focused manner to ensure sustainable economic growth and development of every sector,” Scindia said.
Scindia said that his ministry and the UT government are working on increasing maximum flight operations catering to the growing tourism, industry sectors of the UT.
“Necessary steps will also be taken on priority to increase helicopter services, especially in the far-flung districts of the UT on the lines of Uttarakhand,” he added.
Speaking on cargo facility being built in the UT at an estimated cost of Rs 15 crore, the Union minister said that it will be ready soon and will facilitate the traders and business community of the UT.
Referring to the long-pending demand of a paid premium lounge at the Srinagar airport, the Union minister said that a tender would again be floated for inviting a party to build it and hopefully the premium lounge would come up soon.