SRINAGAR: The international flights will start between Srinagar and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) very soon. With this, Jammu & Kashmir will set its foot onto the international aviation map, as the Ministry of Civil Aviation recently gave a green light to the launching of first commercial flight services between the two destinations.
Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, while addressing a joint press conference with J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, stated that this will be a historic step both for J&K and its people. He also added that this will facilitate foreign tourists to arrive in Srinagar directly.
As per the news reports, Sharjah was chosen as the first destination in view of the heavy volume of business between traders from both the destinations. An official in the know-how added that the immigration infrastructure has already been put into place in J&K. He also added that since there is a high demand of business-related travel between Srinagar and Sharjah, these spots will also serve as a convenient transit point to reach Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The Civil Aviation Minister also added that international flight operations will likely resume at the Srinagar airport soon, and that the terminal at the Srinagar airport will be expanded from 25000 sq m to 63000 sq m. He further revealed that INR 1500 crore will be invested at the Srinagar airport, while INR 600 crore will be spent on the Jammu airport.
Efforts are on so that international travellers come directly to Srinagar. This will be a historic decision, not just for Jammu and Kashmir, but the whole country,” Scindia said. There will be an investment of INR 1,500 crore at the Srinagar airport, while INR 600 crore will be spent on the Jammu airport. “The Jammu airport will have a new 25,000 square metre terminal, adding to the existing one,” the Union Minister added.
The runway at the Jammu airport has been extended to 8,000 feet and there will be no load penalty on flights at the airport from 1 October, he said. The minister said a new cargo terminal at the Srinagar airport, constructed at a cost of INR15 crore, will be made functional on 1 October.