Srinagar, Jun 15 : A team of Airport Authority of India (AAI) officials will visit border district of Kargil in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir to have a full fledged airport for commercial flights, an official spokesman said here on Saturday afternoon.
He said Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam Saturday held a meeting here with Union Secretary, Civil Aviation and other Airport Authority of India (AAI) officials including Member Planning, AAI in New Delhi for development of existing Kargil Airport for full operation of commercial flights including Boeing and Airbus.
He said to finalize the requirements of additional land and other technicalities, it has been decided that a team of AAI officials will visit Kargil on June 20, 2019. Subsequently, a Technical team of the AAI will visit Kargil from June 27, 2019 for 15 days to finalize all technical parameters.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with AAI is expected to be signed by July, 15, 2019. The foundation stone for the extension of the runway is expected to be laid by the end of August, 2019, which will kick start commencement of other works.
Kargil has a Civil Airport with a runway (airstrip) of 6,000 ft, ATC Tower a present. An MoU was signed between AAI and Indian Air Force (IAF) on 20.10.2016. The assets developed by AAI were handed over to the IAF for their operations, including civil operations. While this arrangement has been continuing since 2006, the limited length of the airstrip at Kargil and inadequate supporting infrastructure has proved to be an impediment in carrying out full-fledged commercial aircraft operations at Kargil.
Governor’s Administration is keen to develop Kargil Airport into a full-fledged Commercial Airport for transforming Kargil into a tourist hub on the analogy of Leh, thereby, expanding opportunities for gainful employment of the youth of Ladakh region. It will also ensure assured air connectivity to the region during the winter months when passes to Ladakh region remain cut off from the rest of the State/country due to heavy snowfall and inclement weather.
On the directions of Governor, Chief Secretary has been constantly pursuing the matter regarding development of Kargil Airport with senior officials of Government of India. The State Government has even set aside Rs 200 crore for development of Kargil Airport. (UNI)