Sunday, November 05, 2017

Will Srinagar International Airport ever live up to its name?

Srinagar:  It is the twelfth year since the Srinagar Airport was granted international status, yet it does not operate international flights because the Government of India (GoI) has not given it permission.
Only during the 40 days in a year when Muslims go for the Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, international flights operate from Srinagar airport; the rest of the year it is confined to domesticity.
Director of Srinagar International Airport, Sharad Kumar, told Kashmir Reader that the airport has the required facilities for operating international flights. He said these facilities were installed by the GoI in February 1998 and were first used to handle international Hajj flights from Srinagar in January 2002.
In March 2005, the airport was formally granted international status by the Indian government. The GoI funding of Rs 130 crore expanded the terminal and increased the parking stands from four to nine, able to serve both domestic and international flights. In 2009, for the first time in the history of Srinagar airport, Air India started weekly flights to Dubai, but these were terminated in the beginning of 2010.
“Since then, no international flights, expect during the Hajj period, took off from here,” Kumar said.
05/11/17 Junaid Nabi Bazaz/Kashmir Reader