Security check at Srinagar airport; Boarding at Awantipora
No Private Vehicles To And From Aerodrome
Srinagar, Aug 31: With the flights to and from Srinagar operating from the Awantipora Air-Base—25 kms from here—from September 3, the passengers will have to reach the Srinagar International Airport first before they are shifted to the Awantipora air field amid ‘tight security.’
Informed sources said the baggage and security check of passengers would take place at the Srinagar International Airport following which the passengers would be shifted to Awantipora airport in police escort. “No private vehicles would be allowed to pick or drop the passengers at the Awantipora airport directly,” they said. “The passengers would be shifted in specific buses whose doors won’t open from Srinagar Airport to Awantipora, where a minor check would again be conducted.”
Similarly, passengers arriving at the Awantipora airport shall be transported to the Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) at Dalgate in the specific buses.
Sources said the passengers will have to reach the Srinagar Airport at least three hours before the flight departure time.
Sources said the Indian Air Force has put certain conditions for operation of flights from Awantipora Air-Base. These are: no airline would operate more than one flight per day; just four aircraft parking bays would be used by the commercial airlines; the aircrafts won’t use the IAF hangers—a large structure at an airport where aircraft can be parked and maintained; half of the navigational aid would be transported from the Srinagar Airport and very minimal airlines’ staff would be deputed there.
The decisions were taken at a high-level meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary, SS Kapoor here on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by station managers of all private airlines, director AAI, principal secretary to Chief Minister, BB Vyas, IG Security, Farooq Ahmad, SSP Airport Security, Bakir Samoon and MD SRTC.
Meanwhile, sources said some officers from AAI New Delhi have arrived here to review the arrangements for boarding and lodging of the passengers at the Awantipora airport.
People have heaved a sign of relief over the flight operation from Awantipora airport from September 3 to September 15—the period during which the runway of the Srinagar International Airport would undergo re-carpeting. “Though the journey to Awantipora would be cumbersome, yet something is better than nothing. The complete flights blackout to the Valley would have been frustrating for those who intended to visit the Valley to celebrate Eid with their families and for the patients who needed to be airlifted to and from Jammu or Delhi,” said Muddasir, a resident of Hyderpora.
On Tuesday, the commercial airlines resumed bookings to Srinagar from September 3. “We have started the bookings. We are expecting a huge rush of passengers to Valley on the eve of Eid,” said station manager of a private airline. 15 commercial flights operate to and from Srinagar daily with over 2000 passengers on board.
The airport is located at a distance of 25 to 30 kms from Srinagar. The link between the Srinagar-Islamabad Highway to Awantipora airport is five kilometers. A single-lane vehicular, approximately 15 to 20 ft in width leads to the airport, also called as the Quil Airport. There is no terminal building there. However the runway, allotted for commercial flights operation is 10,500 x150 ft, while the apron—a paved surface where aircraft stand while not being used— is 900 x 500 ft. There is hardly any navigational aid there. The Air Traffic Control shall, according to sources, party operate from the Awantipora air-base and partly from the Srinagar aerodrome.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 30 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 30 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 31 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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