Monday, September 24, 2018

IAF wants old airport for Siachen, Airports Authority of India stays mute

Chandigarh: :For the past six months, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has not been able to decide on handing over the old building of the Chandigarh airport lying almost unutilized to the IAF.

The IAF wants to use the building spread in 12,150 square metre area to facilitate the movement of thousands of troops to Siachen, Leh, Thoise, Kargil and other forward areas.

The state-of-the-art building was completed in 2011 at a cost of around Rs 80 crore. The building, however, is lying unused ever since flight operations were shifted to the international terminal on Mohali side in 2015. Sources confirmed to TOI that only a small skill development centre is running in two rooms in the building with very few students, resulting in gross mis-utilisation/underutilisation of such a huge building that has a capacity to accommodate 400 passengers at one time.
The AAI has been criticised for causing undue losses by non-utilizing the building for the past around three years. The AAI is also spending a huge amount of money every month on its maintenance, as a contract has been especially given to a private agency for the purpose. Sources confirmed that the tarmac (apron or parking area near the terminal) of old building is property of IAF, thus it would be difficult for any other authority to utilize the building for any purpose.
24/09/18 Ajay Sura/Times of India