Saturday, April 17, 2021

Civilian airport at Ambala Cantt: Ministry calls stakeholders’ meeting on April 28

Chandigarh: The defence ministry has finally called a meeting of all stakeholders to decide on establishing of civilian airport in Ambala Cantonment. There is a proposal to use the existing runway of local air force station in Ambala for civilian flights and a separate enclave for commercial operations at the airbase on land adjoining it. A meeting headed by the defence secretary to discuss the issue would be held on April 28.

A communication issued by the ministry on Thursday, has asked the airforce, Airport Authority of India (AAI), civil aviation department, Haryana, and the Ambala district administration “to depute officers well conversant with the issue to attend the meeting”. An intimation regarding the meeting has also been sent to state home minister Anil Vij.

Sources confirmed that the meeting has been called in pursuance to Vij’s meeting with defence minister Rajnath Singh in February. As the airbase and the ATC in Panchkula is controlled by the IAF, Vij had requested the defence minister to grant necessary approvals for civilian flights under Udan 3.

Sources confirmed that the district administration, air force authorities and agencies concerned had agreed on the modalities to transfer around 15 acre land adjoining the airbase. The Haryana government has agreed to pay the land cost to the defence authorities.

While meeting Rajnath, Vij had requested a team of officers from central and state governments for site inspection. Vij has been claiming that an airline has already been allotted to Ambala and flights from Ambala to Lucknow and Srinagar have also been approved.

Experts skeptical about viability of proposed venture

17/04/21 Ajay Sura/Times of India

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