Govt announces full-fledged airport for commercial flights in Kargil

CS holds meet with Union Secretary; AAI team to visit Kargil on Thursday
Govt announces full-fledged airport for commercial flights in Kargil

Kargil Airport will be developed into a full-fledged airport for commercial flight operations, Jammu and Kashmir Government said on Saturday.

According to an official spokesperson, Chief Secretary BVRSubrahmanyam Saturday held a meeting in New Delhi with Union Secretary, CivilAviation and other Airport Authority of India (AAI) officials including MemberPlanning, AAI for development of existing Kargil Airport for full operation ofcommercial flights including Boeing, Airbus, etc.

To finalize the requirements of additional land and othertechnicalities, it has been decided that a team of AAI officials will visitKargil on Thursday, June 20. Subsequently, a Technical team of the AAI willvisit Kargil from June 27 for 15 days to finalize all technical parameters.

The MoU with AAI is expected to be signed by July, 15, thespokesperson said. The foundation stone for the extension of the runway isexpected to be laid by the end of August, which will kick start commencement ofother works.

It is noteworthy to mention that Kargil has a Civil Airportwith a runway (airstrip) of 6000 ft, ATC Tower etc. AnMoU was signed betweenAAI and Indian Air Force (IAF) on October 10, 2016. The assets developed by AAIwere handed over to the IAF for their operations, including civil operations.While this arrangement has been continuing since 2006, the limited length ofthe airstrip at Kargil and inadequate supporting infrastructure has proved tobe an impediment in carrying out full-fledged commercial aircraft operations atKargil.

Governor's Administration is keen to develop Kargil Airportinto a full-fledged Commercial Airport for transforming Kargil into a touristhub on the analogy of Leh, thereby, expanding opportunities for gainfulemployment of the youth of Ladakh region. It will also ensure assured airconnectivity to the region during the winter months when passes to Ladakhregion remain cut off from the rest of the State/country due to heavy snowfalland inclement weather.

On the directions of Governor, Chief Secretary has beenconstantly pursuing the matter regarding development of Kargil Airport withsenior officials of Government of India. The State Government has even setaside Rs 200 crore for development of Kargil Airport.

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