Chandigarh, February 26
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has sought Chandigarh’s inclusion among the Indian cities notified under India’s Open Sky Policy to enable operation of to and fro flights to ASEAN countries from here.
In a semi-official letter to Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, he said the International Civil Terminal at SAS Nagar (Mohali) has been functioning for the last three years and is set to be upgraded to Code 4E status from April one for launch of 24x7 operations of wide-bodied aircraft, an official statement said here.
The airport caters to the travel needs of not only people from Chandigarh but also to international passengers from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and parts of Uttrakhand, he said.
The state government would take all possible steps to support the growth of civil aviation and to harness its benefit for overall growth of the region, the chief minister wrote.
At present, the airport is unable to operate direct flights to international destinations in ASEAN countries, such as Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, he said.
As a result, the passengers from this region have to travel to New Delhi for taking flights to such countries, he said, adding this is not only time consuming but also causes hardship in the form of extra travel by road.
Under the Centre’s Open Sky Policy for ASEAN countries, 18 cities have been notified for operation of airlines in the country.
At present, Chandigarh does not figure in the list of 18 cities notified by the Centre.
After its upgradation to Code 4E, Chandigarh would become eligible to be notified under the Open Sky Policy, he said.
Urging the Union minister to take cognisance of these facts, Singh requested him to issue necessary directions to notify the International Civil Terminal at SAS Nagar (IXC) under the Open Sky Policy for operation of airlines to ASEAN countries from April 1.
This would not only help in reducing the travel time of the passengers from the region to various ASEAN countries and connecting destinations, but would also help in boosting tourism, economy and attracting investments in the region, he said in his letter. — PTI
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