Several airports in north India shut amid tension with Pakistan

File photo
File photo

Nine airports, including the ones in Srinagar and Jammu,were closed on Wednesday for civilian air traffic amid escalating tension withPakistan, officials said.

Airports at Srinagar, Jammu, Leh, Pathankot, Amritsar,Shimla, Kangra, KulluManali, Pithoragarh were among those closed, they said.

The move to close the airports comes amid escalation oftension between India and Pakistan after the IAF carried out strikes inPakistan.

In Srinagar, an official of the Airports Authority of Indiatold PTI, "The civilian air traffic has been suspended temporarily in view ofthe emergency".

While the official did not specify the nature of theemergency, it is believed the step was taken in view of an IAF jet crashing inBudgam district this morning.

Officials said they received instructions from air trafficcontrollers that the airports have been shut for civilian flights.

Some of the flights en route to Jammu, Leh and Srinagarairports have been diverted to their origin stations, they added.

Airports at Chandigarh, Pathankot, Halwara are Bathinda havebeen put on high alert.

Guru Ram Dass International Airport Director ManojChansoriasaid the arrival and departure of all civil flights from Amritsar InternationalAirport has been suspended.

Commercial operations from Chandigarh international airportare on. Earlier operations at Chandigarh were halted for some time.

"Commercial operations are on," Chandigarh Airport directorSuneelDutt said.

Vistara Airlines said in a tweet, "Due to airspacerestrictions flights to and from Amritsar, Srinagar and Jammu are currently onhold. Chandigarh is now open again for flights".

Jet Airways said that in "line with the instructionsreceived from Delhi ATC regarding airport closure Jet Airways flight operationsto and from Amritsar, Jammu, Srinagar and Leh have been suspended until furthernotice".

Punjab's six border districts of Fazilka, Ferozepur, TarnTaran, Gurdaspur, Pathankot and Amritsar are on high alert since Tuesday.

Deputy Commissioners and SSPs of border areas have beenasked to put in place all contingency plans to ensure protection and safety ofcitizens, officials said.

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