Monday, May 22, 2017

Land unavailability delays upgrading of Srinagar airport

Srinagar: The Airport Authority of India is struggling to identify land for upgrading the facilities at the Srinagar International Airport (SIA).
Officials at the SIA told The Kashmir Monitor that they don’t have adequate land for installing the Approach Lighting System (ALS) to make the runway fit to allow landing and takeoff in poor visibility.
“The ALS is an integral part of Instrumental Landing System. The entire process is halted due to the delay in acquiring around 900 meters of land required for the purpose. We only have 300 meters available,” an official said.
In the winter, the SIA witnessed repeated cancellation of flights due to its poor infrastructure.
As per the records, the airport saw cancellation of about 200 flights during a fortnight in January, when smog had engulfed the valley for several weeks.
The existing ILS at the airport allows landing and takeoff only in 200 or 300-meter visibility.
Director Airport Authority of India (AAI) in Srinagar, Sharad Kumar, told The Kashmir Monitor that they have asked the Deputy Commissioner Budgam to file a report about land acquisition in the High Court, which is hearing the case.
“Currently, the case is in the court,” he said.
The High Court had earlier raised concern over the frequent cancellation of flights at the airport.
On Thursday, the court sought details from the Airport Authority about the upgrading of the ILS.
22/05/17 Firdous Hassan/Kashmir Mirror