Despite keenness shown by Indian Air Force to permit operation of night flights from Srinagar, no airline has come forward to avail this offer.
Responding to a question by Srinagar MP, Tariq Hamid Karra, in the Lok Sabha on Monday, Minister of State for civil aviation Dr Mahesh Sharma said that presently the Srinagar Airport is operational for civilian flights from 9 am to 5.30 pm every day except Wednesday on which the watch hours are extended till 8 pm.
The minister further said that the IAF had in May 2013 offered to extend watch hours till 10 pm but the offer has remained a non-starter as there are no takers till date for the offer among the airlines.
Answering another question of the MP regarding civilian airports in Jammu and Kashmir, the minister said the Airports Authority of India has conducted a pre-feasibility study for development of three airports in the state.
The airports are to be developed at Surankot, Rajouri and Kishtwar.
He said the study has since been completed by the AAI and the report has been sent to the state government. Further action will be taken after the government takes a view.
The three proposed airports will be developed only for 2B category aircrafts that carry only up to 20 passengers as permitted under VFR conditions. This is because of the topography and land profile of these areas.
The further work on the airport project will be subject to removal of obstructions and acquisition of land by the state government.
Dr Sharma further said that the civil enclaves in the existing three airports at Jammu, Srinagar and Leh are managed by the AAI. However, the airport at Srinagar is under the operational control of the Indian Air Force.