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Pathankot get connected for air travel with daily flights

Written by: Staff

Pathankot, Nov 21 (UNI) The strategically-located city of Pathankot got air transport connectivity today with civil aviation minister Praful Patel saying that neighbouring airports at Chandigarh, Phagwara, Kullu and Jammu will soon be upgraded as well.

''The country is striving to unshackle restrictive policies of the past so that aviation is redistributed across the country in an even spread,'' he said after inaugurating the Pathankot civil airport terminal building.

He said building new airports across the country is essential so that ordinary people can travel freely. ''Air connectivity leads to industrial and agricultural growth, and leads to economic prosperity in the region.'' Pathankot is nestled in extreme north of Punjab along the borders of Himachal Pradesh on one side and Pakistan on the other. It has a huge airfield which belongs to the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has now built a terminal building over an area of 3,850 square metres with peak hour passenger handling capacity of 300 passengers and an apron with a capacity of three Airbus A320 aircraft.

The entire development cost totalled Rs 35 crore.

As the Air Deccan inaugural flight landed here this afternoon, AAI chairman K. Ramalingam said aviation infrastructure and navigational systems at all airports in the country will be expanded to meet the phenomenal growth in air passenger traffic.

Air Deccan will launch daily flights from tomorrow and deploy 48-seater ATR42 to service the route. Pathankot is its 61st airport and 12th unconnected city to be brought on the Indian aviation map.

''Air travel should not be regarded as a luxury, rather an essential infrastructure to be brought within the reach of all Indians,'' said Air Deccan's managing director G.R. Gopinath.

Others present on the occasion were Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and members of parliament Vinod Khanna and Ashwini Kumar besides senior officials from the AAI, the IAF and local politicians.


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