DGCA identifies airports of Shimla and Kullu as critical

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Kullu/Shimla, Aug 6 (ANI): The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in its safety audit report identified two airports of Shimla and Kullu in Himachal Pradesh as critical.

Following the crash of the Air India Express flight IX 812 in Mangalore on May 22, the DGCA has in all identified 11 airports as difficult.

"In India few air fields have been identified as difficult air fields and Kullu is one of them. The command in difficult airfields is very necessary and who all commanders can make the aircrafts land here," said aviation expert Subhash Sharma.

"All these commanders have to take special clearance as the plane has to pass through valley to enter the airfield that is why it is difficult," he added.

Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said the State Government has asked for the expansion of the airport, but would go with the decisions of the Authority.

"Airport Authority of India has its own definitions in this regard. They have rated Shimla and Kullu airport as critical. For Shimla Airport the report recommends a need of expansion and for Kullu airport they says that it is critical due to the valley. We can't change the valley; it is a geographical and topographical factor," said Dhumal.

"We have asked them for the expansion. They are still to define it is critical from what point of view, so it is their decision. The state government would go with their decision and we have always been supportive in this regard," he added.

Besides Shimla and Kullu, airports at Leh, Port Blair, Agartala, Lengpui, Kozhikode, Mangalore, Latur, Jammu and Patna have also been stated as critical. (ANI)

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