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Jammu Airport likely to clear way for night flights from Diwali

Last Updated on April 22, 2021 at 8:15 am

People of Jammu are all set to celebrate as night flights from Jammu airport are scheduled to start soon. Runway expansion project is running in the last stage of completion. Reports suggest that the government is aiming to start night flights from Jammu airport by Deepawali this year.

Sources said that government authorities are expecting to complete this runway expansion work by May 15. Once this project is over, length of the runway will increase from 6700 feet to eight thousand feet. Airbus and B-321 class aircraft will be able to land and take-off with night flight operations then.

This expansion work was initiated in 2019 at a cost of 159 crores. Last year as COVID-19 pandemic started taking over, construction work was halted for a while. Authorities are now expecting it to be completed by 15 May.

Reports claim that a team of Airport Authority of India will monitor and inspect its technical aspects. Once they are satisfied with its technical efficiency, then they will approve the Night landing facility and it may begin by Diwali. Jammu airport already has Instrument Landing System (ILS) installed which is very important for night landing. The government had already sanctioned Rs 3.86 crore to raise ancillary infrastructural facilities for night hours at the Airport for the comfort of travellers and the staff.

Jammu Airport is located 14-kilometres away from the international border between India and Pakistan. It is also known as the Satwari Airport and offers only “primitive services” to the passengers. There was a need for 8000 feet long runway but only 6,700 feet long was built. This deficiency turned out to be a major headache for pilots as they have to put in “extra efforts to control the aircraft” during landing and take-off. There is an estimate that around nine lakh passengers use this airport annually still successive governments didn’t try to overcome this problem.

People say that this neglection of airport infrastructure by authorities resulted in a loss of tourists in the winter capital. A lot of pilgrims visit Jammu on a regular basis. More than one crore pilgrims from various parts of the nation visit the cave shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi annually. Even though this is a huge number still authorities neglected this issue. According to data from the Airports Authority of India, Jammu Airport was the 27th busiest airport in India from April 2013 to March 2014.