Kashmir Indepth

Night landing facilities available, but no response from commercial Airlines yet: Director Srinagar Airport

Ishtiyaq Ahmad
Srinagar, Sep 22 (KINS): Airport authorities here said that the Night landing facilities are available at Srinagar international Airport, but the airlines have so far not responded about the proper night flight operations.
“We have informed almost all the Airlines that they can use the Srinagar Airport runway for night landing, but so far they have not responded,” Director Srinagar Airport Kuldeep Singh told news agency KINS over phone.
Kuldeep Singh said that all the facilities for night flight operations are available at the airport. “If any airline is interested in flying the night flights like Srinagar Mumbai, Delhi, or other destinations, they can use the facilities at the Airport,” he said.
“We have conveyed the message to all the Airlines and now it is up to them to make their decision. If we are running the last flight from Srinagar at 7.30 PM, we can also run a flight at 11 Pm. We have all facilities available here in the Airport for night flight operations”, he told KINS.
Sources said that the all necessary permissions for night-landing operations have been granted and that extending hours of operations at Srinagar Airport will provide a great boost to aviation activities and tourism sector in Kashmir.
At present, the last flight from the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir takes off at 7: 30 pm. Once night flying operations begin, this is expected to be extended till 11 pm.
The Srinagar airport, which was given international status in 2005 is the main airport in the Kashmir Valley.
Sources said that the increase in flying hours is likely to boost the tourism sector in the state. However, airport authorities may not allow night flights during winters as part of safety measures against snow and fog. The Jammu airport has been designated as an alternative airport in case of emergencies, sources said.
Officials informed that after the Indian Air Force and Defence Ministry gave nod to the operation of night flights at Srinagar Airport, the then government had decided to start night operations from lone airport in the summer capital from February 2016.However, the facility could not take off due to poor response and fear of losses by airlines.
A senior Civil Aviation official here informed that airlines were invited to start evening flights in 2016; however, most airlines feared of incurring losses as there was not much response to evening flights as most of the markets in Kashmir were closed by the time of dusk.
However it is to be mentioned here that in the month of March this year the Srinagar airport was technically cleared for night operations.
Go Air was the first private player to take off from Srinagar to New Delhi.
The Go Air flight G8 7007 then had taken off from Srinagar Airport around 7:35 pm.It was for the first time in the history of Indian aviation that a night flight was taken off from Srinagar Airport. (KINS)

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