Srinagar: After witnessing successful night flight operations, Srinagar Airport is all set to kick-start the night parking facility for aircrafts from Thursday.
Speaking with Greater Kashmir, Director, Airports Authority of India (AAI) Srinagar, Kuldeep Singh confirmed that the night parking facility is being first availed by Go First airline.
He said commencement of the night parking facilities will provide a boost to late evening and early morning flights.
“It is a welcome step that night parking facility is now being offered at the aerodrome. This will provide a great impetus to late evening and early morning flights,” Singh said.
It may be mentioned that authorities at the Srinagar airport on April 1 this year announced reduction in the application fees for night parking of helicopters at the airport by half in a bid to encourage tourist charter flights. They reduced the application fees for night parking of helicopters by 50 per cent.
The helicopter operators are now paying Rs 50,000 besides taxes along with the application for night parking permission.
Pertinently, the Central government in November last year declared the Srinagar International Airport as 'major airport'. “In exercise of the powers conferred by Sub-Section (i) of Section 2 of the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India Act, 2008 (No.27 of 2008), the Central Government hereby declares the airport at Srinagar as Major Airport," said the gazettes notification issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. This comes just weeks after Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated the Srinagar-Sharjah international flight.
The Srinagar International Airport has recently witnessed a sharp increase in the number of flights as well as passenger footfall with sizable tourist influx being seen of late.
The spurt in the number of passengers is being witnessed at a time when there has been a drop in Covid cases across several states.
The annual footfall of passengers at Srinagar is expected to increase sharply from the current 3 million to 4.5 million passengers in the next few years, for which the Airport is all set for a terminal expansion, a project likely to begin sometime this year.
The night flight operations at the Airport has also provided a boost to travel and has been welcomed by the officials as well as tourism players.
After witnessing partial operations at the Srinagar International Airport on Fridays and weekends during February and March this year, normal flight operations on these days resumed at the aerodrome from March 1.
It may be mentioned that evening flights to and fro Srinagar airport were suspended for three days a week for two months to carry out strengthening works on the runway.
The suspended evening flights were due to Polymer Modified Emulsion work on the entire runway during the months of February and March. This as per officials was necessary to strengthen the runway for the operation of flight and also to control the wear and tear.
The work was undertaken on all Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in the months of February and March.