Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh has raised the issue of expansion and modernization of all the airports in the State with the government of India. Chief Minister, who met Union Civil Aviation Minister Shri Ajit Singh in New Delhi today, raised this issue.
He requested for increase in the length of Shimla airport runway so as to facilitate the landing of bigger aircraft in the state. He demanded to provide adequate budget to the airport authority for restoring the original length of the run way in time bound manner so as normal flights could be plied on the airport before the winter tourism season .
Chief Minister apprised the Union Minister that the length of the Shimla airport runway had been effectively reduced to 3800 feet from original runway length of 4100 feet due to soil erosion. He said that at present the ATR aircraft cannot take-off with full load. The airport authority of India had drawn up plan to restore the original length of the runway which would mitigate the load factor problem. He offered all infrastructural and other assistance from the state government in restoring the original length of the run way.
Shri Virbhadra Singh demanded the expansion of the airport and increase in the length of the runway by at least 600 ft so that the bigger aircraft could land safely at Shimla airport.
Chief Minister further requested expansion of Kullu airport adding that the state government had conducted feasibility study through IIT, Roorkee in consultation with airport authority of India. It had concluded that the Kullu airport could be further expanded and the presentation of the study had already been sent to the civil aviation ministry. He requested for allocation of adequate funds for the expansion plan of the Kullu airport.
Shri Virbhadra Singh requested for setting up advance technology and equipments at Shimla, Kangra and Kullu airports so as the larger aircrafts could land during all weather conditions. He asked for time bound action in this regard keeping in view of safety and convenience of the air passengers.
He also requested the union minister for developing infrastructure facilities for landing of large bodied fixed wing aircraft in the state and said that state government had submitted a proposal to airport authority of India for conducting feasibility study for new airport at Kandaghat in Solan district. He requested the union minister to direct the airport authority of India for identifying the new locations for setting up big modern airport to meet the growing demand of air services in the state.