Srinagar: Union civil aviation minister, Praful Patel, said last week that up-gradation work at the Srinagar airport, meant to bring it to international standards, is nearing completion and that international services could commence within a month or so.
Initially, direct flights to the Gulf region may be made available while other overseas flights would be added later. The newly constructed sprawling terminal building has been expanded from the existing 6190 square meters to 16100 square meters.
It will handle 500 domestic and 450 international passengers every hour.
Meanwhile, on a visit to the airport minister Patel reviewed progress on the Rs101 crore project. He was accompanied by Union water resources minister, Prof Saifuddin Soz and former state chief minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad. Other present included chairman, Airports Authority of India, senior officers of the Indian Air Force and chief secretary, SS Kapoor.
The minister also inspected the new terminal building and visited different halls and inquired about various facilities that have been created for the domestic and international flights.
Patel said there has been 30 per cent growth in air traffic in the Jammu & Kashmir sector, which is higher than the growth in Delhi and Mumbai sectors.
He said that providing a instrument landing system at the airport was under serious consideration and the matter has been raised with the air force. A decision in this regard is expected soon.
He also said that besides Srinagar Airport the up-gradation work at Jammu airport is also being undertaken at a cost of Rs 250 crore. He said work would commence once land was received from army authorities.
He also said that up-gradation work at Leh and Kargil airports was also being undertaken at the request of the State government. Helicopter services to far flung areas was also being considered.
Patel said that air connectivity for Kishtwar and other far flung areas was also being augmented.
Expansion work at Kargil airport and air connectivity for Poonch was also being initiated.