International flights from Srinagar this summer: Azad

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New Delhi, Feb 13 (UNI) International flights to and from Srinagar Airport will operate from this summer with the new terminal building getting ready by June 2008.

To start with, flights would be operated to and from the Gulf countries.

This decision was taken at a meeting between Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel here last last night.

Mr Azad requested Mr Patel to operate international flights to and from Srinagar from this summer, which was agreed to.

At the meeting, Airports Authority of India (AAI) chairman Dr K Ramalingam assured that the new international airport terminal at Srinagar would be ready by June 2008.

The building would handle 500 domestic and 450 international passengers per hour. The airport will have four aero bridges while five more aircraft parking bays were also proposed.

It was also decided that the runway of the Jammu Airport would be extended up to 9000 ft from the existing 6700 ft. It was agreed that a new terminal building would be constructed at Jammu Airport costing more than Rs 100 crore.

The AAI also agreed to construct an airport at Kishtwar.

Mr Patel directed the AAI Chairman to visit Kishtwar for making an on-the-spot study so that the hilly and far-flung area of Jammu division has its first airport at the earliest.

The Jammu and Kashmir government was also constructing a small airport at Surankote in Poonch district in the state sector.

The Civil Aviation Ministry cleared the project during the meeting last night.

The Ministry also agreed to the Chief Minister's proposal for constructing a new terminal building at Leh Airport.

The new building would be constructed at a cost more than Rs 100 crore with extension in the built up area from the existing 2500 sq mt to 12,000 sq mt.

The new terminal would handle 500 passengers against 200 at present. The terminal will have two aero bridges.

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