International flights from Srinagar Airport within a month

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Srinagar, Aug 1 (UNI) Work on up-gradation of the Srinagar Airport to the International standard is nearing completion and the International flights can be operated within a month or so.

This was disclosed by Union Civil Aviation Minister, Praful Patel here today after reviewing the progress on the Rs 101 crore project.

Accompanied by Union Water Resources Minister, Prof Saifuddin Soz and former State chief minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mr Patel reviewed the progress of the project in a meeting at the Srinagar Airport.

Among others Chairman Airports Authority of India, Senior Officers of Air Force and Chief Secretary, S S Kapoor also attended the meeting.

During the meeting a power point presentation was made about the project.

The Minister also inspected the new terminal building and visited different halls and enquired about various facilities that have been created for the domestic and international flights.

Talking to mediapersons the Union Civil Aviation Minister said he was happy to see that despite delay of a few months the project is now almost complete and first International flight to the Gulf can take-off within a month.

He said there has been 30 per cent growth in the air traffic in Jammu and Kashmir, which is higher than the growth in the sector in respect of Delhi and Mumbai Airports.

He said as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is keen on the development of the state in all sectors, his Ministry will take all the measures to expand and up-grade facilities in the State.

The Minister said providing of instrument landing system at the Srinagar Airport to eradicate delay of flights during bad weather is under serious consideration and the matter has been raised with the Air Force and a decision in this regard is expected soon.

He also said besides the Srinagar Airport the upgradation work of the Jammu Airport with a cost of Rs 250 crores is being taken.

In this regard, once the land is got from the Army authorities the work will begin. The Minsiter said upgradation work of Leh and Kargil Airport is also being undertaken whileas the request of State Government for Helicopter service to far flung areas is also being considered.

Mr Patel said air connectivity for Kishtwar and other far flung areas is being augmented and in this connection the process for getting permission and other requisites completed is already on.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Soz thanked the Union Minister for his keen interest in making the international airport at Srinagar reality.

He, however, stressed the need for early action to establish instrumental landing system at the Airport. He hoped that the first flight for Dubai will take off from this Airport within a month as the work on the project is almost complete.

Talking to mediapersons Mr Azad thanked the Union Government particularly the Prime Minister for acceding to the request of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to upgrade Airports at Srinagar and Jammu to International standard.

He said he was happy that the Srinagar Airport upgradation project is now complete. The Ministry has approved the demand of the state for expansion of Kargil Airport and process for providing air connectivity to Kishtwar and Poonch has also been initiated, he added.

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