Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Ten months after announcement, flight services yet to take off from Pantnagar to Kanpur, Lucknow, & Chandigarh

Rudrapur: Almost ten months have gone by since the Airports Authority of India (AAI) announced to launch flight services from Pantnagar airport to three destinations — Lucknow, Chandigarh, and Kanpur. However, operations on none of these routes have begun so far.
In January this year, Pantnagar airport director SK Singh had said that the flight operations to the aforementioned destinations will start within three months. He went on to add that two companies have also been awarded the contract for the same. "SpiceJet has been given the contract to operate flights between Pantnagar and Kanpur, and Heritage Aviation has bagged the contract for flight operations on Pantnagar-Chandigarh and Pantnagar-Lucknow route", Singh had then said.
However, the deadlines were never met. Due to the delays, locals feel that AAI makes tall promises but doesn't deliver on them. "AAI announced that they will upgrade and expand the Pantnagar airport but nothing of that sort was done in last three years. Pantnagar-Pithoragarh-Dehradun flight service has also been irregular. Also, they announced to expand the runway for big aircrafts to land here but that too didn't happen," said Gaurav Arora, an entrepreneur who lives in Pantnagar industrial area.
Sanjay Juneja, president of the traders' union of the city, said, "The aircraft coming to Pantnagar do not even have transponders (device which enables mapping and tracking runway even in foggy conditions) for air navigation and that is the reason why flights are either cancelled or flown back to Delhi during winter season. The passengers to Pantnagar are forced to land in Dehradun and reach here via taxi."
26/11/19 Aakash Ahuja/Times of India
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