Shimla, April 25
An agreement was signed to set up a greenfield airport at Nagchala in Mandi district in the presence of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M. Scindia in New Delhi today.
The joint venture agreement between the state government and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) would pave the way for the development of the airport in Mandi, which is the dream project of the Chief Minister. “The airport will not only improve air connectivity to the state but will also boost tourism, besides generating employment opportunities for the local youth,” said Thakur. The airport would also enable wide-bodied aircraft to land, including international flights, he added.
Thakur said that the airport would be developed with a proposed runway of 3,150 metres and 2,840 bighas had been identified for the purpose. The AAI has also conducted the Obstacle Limitation Surface (OLS) and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) surveys in this regard.
He said that according to the OLS and LIDAR survey reports, to build an airport in Mandi was feasible and suitable for round the year operations, besides night landing and the operation of AB-320 type of aircraft.
Thakur requested Scindia for the landing of ATR 42-600 aircraft at the Shimla airport and for flight operations to Shimla, Kullu, Dharamsala under the Udan-II programme as priority routes. He also requested the Union minister to extend the Chandigarh-Dharamsala route to Chamba under the Udan-II scheme, besides extending the Shimla-Rampur route up to Kinnaur. The Union minister assured the Chief Minister of all possible support to the state.
Chairman, AAI, Sanjeev Kumar; Secretary, Civil Aviation, Rajiv Bansal; Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh, Principal Secretary (Tourism) Davesh Kumar and Director Tourism Amit Kashyap were present on the occasion.