Advisory panel for upgradation of facilities at Srinagar airport

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The advisory committee, Srinagar airport on Monday stressed the need for upgrading the infrastrcure at the aerodrome and starting night flights to boost Kashmir as a travel destination.

The committee which met at the airport premises, first time since 2018, discussed terminal and runway expansion, an AAI official said.

The meeting took place just two days after J&K High Court had asked the airport authorities to file status report on upgradation of the aerodrome.

As per the rules, the advisory committee must meet every six months. “The meeting couldn’t take place last year due to the situation post abrogation of Article 370 on 5 August 2019 and this year till now due to outbreak of COVID19,” said the official.

He said Abdullah being the MP concerned chaired the meeting which was attended by IGP Kashmir and other senior officials.

He said the representatives of CISF, Indian Air Force and AAI also participated in the meeting.

The Master Plan for Srinagar metropolitan region has pitched for upgradation of infrastructure and introducing night-landing facilities at the airport.

Director AAI, Srinagar Airport, Santosh Dhoke said the meeting was informed about the need to increase the number of flights at the airport for which infrastructure expansion was required.

He said the meeting also discussed need for more facilities for passengers such as comfortable waiting lounges. The chairperson was also informed that car parking charges which were earlier not affordable for common people have been reduced to Rs 20 now, he said.

“The meeting also discussed that the area from drop gate to the terminal building must be improved in terms of infrastructure development by installing state-of-the-art equipment such as full body scanners. It was decided that faster and better scanning of passengers at the drop gate was also an important requirement which must be fulfilled soon,” said the Director.

While discussing the much-awaited night landing operations at the airport, the meeting decided that the airline companies must show more interest in starting the night operations.

“It was discussed threadbare that although Simple Approach Lighting System was in place to facilitate night landing but now it was up to the airlines to start the night landing. We also informed the meeting that a trail night flight has been conducted and now airlines have to take a call,” he said.

The Director said Abdullah was keen that all protocols must be followed at the airport to prevent the spread of COVID19.