Airports Authority of India accords approval to Mohali airport

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Chandigarh, Nov 15 (UNI) The Airports Authority of India (AAI) today gave its formal approval to the proposal for setting up an interantional airport at Mohali, near here, in Punjab.

In a communication to the Punjab Government, the AAI also gave its go ahead to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the draft for which had been prepared by the State government.

The communication further confirmed that the joint survey team which conducted a feasibility study for the international airport in the region had firmed up the actual land requirement for the project. It has also finalized the master plan of the prestigious venture.

According to the findings of the survey team, an area of 300 acres has been fixed as the land required for completing the total facility.

Keeping in mind the future requirement, the development plan will provide for operating standard international flight carriers, including B-747 type of Aircraft.

The plan also includes the construction of parallel taxi track and extension of runway, says the AAI communication.

The state government and the joint venture partner would coordinate with the Union Territory of Chandigarh in the acquisition of the requisite land.

The MoU duly vetted by the State government to be signed by the GMADA (Greater Mohali Area Development Authority) and AAI has also been forwarded to the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation for formal clearance.

It may be recalled that a high level meeting was held at the Prime Minister's Office on September 5, 2007 in which representatives of Ministry of Civil Aviation and of the Defence services had already given approval to the project in principle.

A request is now being sent to the Defence Secretary by the AAI for formalizing approval to the level of the international airport including a provision for a cargo facility.

The MoU is likely to be signed within a month but GAMADA will proceed with the acquisition process straightaway in the wake of today's communication.

The Mohali International Airport is a dream project of the ruling SAD-BJP alliance government and is considered a brain child of SAD Working President and Member Parliament Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Mr Badal, in a statement, today described AAI approval as ''a major landmark in the modernization of the infrastructure in the state''.


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