SRINAGAR Commercial Airlines have yet to announce their late evening and night schedules for Kashmir Valley even as the watch hours at Srinagar Airport have been extended till 22.00 hours.
Union Civil Aviation Secretary, Pradeep Singh Kharola who was on a day long visit to Srinagar was briefed by Chief Secretary, J&K, B V R Subrahmanyam and other State Government officials here on Monday.
Regarding the issue of night flights to and fro from Srinagar and Jammu, it was informed that while the watch hours at Srinagar Airport had been extended till 10.00 PM and those at Jammu Airport till 9.00 PM, commercial Airlines were yet to announce their late evening/night schedules. The Union Secretary assured the State Government of immediate action in the matter. He asked Principal Secretary Civil Aviation Department to hold a meeting with the Airline operators at Srinagar to resolve residual, technical or operational issues, if any, in operating night flights.
The State government also raised the issue of starting international flights from Srinagar Airport, which is a declared international airport.
Chief Secretary requested the Union Secretary to favourably consider the request of the state government for start of international flights to and from Srinagar including to destinations like Kualalampur in Malaysia, Dhaka in Bangladesh, Singapore and Jeddah, Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, Istanbul in Turkey and other places in the West.
The Union Secretary assured of all support of Government of India and said that the requests of the state Government would be considered on priority.
Principal Secretary, Civil Aviation Department briefed the Union Secretary about the crucial role of Civil Aviation sector in a tourist and hilly State like J&K. He also briefed the Union Secretary about many pending issues requiring active consideration by Government of India.
Regarding extension of existing Airport at Kargil, the meeting was informed that the survey to ascertain the technical feasibility for extension of the run way has been concluded and a team of experts from the Centre for carrying out the final survey was expected soon.
The Union Secretary assured the State Government that the necessary feasibility studies regarding expansion of the Kargil Airport runway and other matters would be completed in a fixed time frame and all efforts made to get the work executed on priority.