Kangra airport expansion

Farmers’ nod must for land acquisition

KANGRA: Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma today stated that land would not be acquired without the consent of farmers for the expansion of the Kangra airport.

Our Correspondent

Kangra, June 2

Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma today stated that land would not be acquired without the consent of farmers for the expansion of the Kangra airport.

He said the airport was being expanded towards the Shapur side. The minister said: “For the expansion, 175 acres is required. About 90 per cent of the land does not come under the forest area. We will make sure that the work does not affect the residents.”

The minister added that the Pathankot- Mandi National Highway would be impacted by the expansion of the airport, adding that the National Highway Authority of India would work out the diversion plans.

He said the work would not pose a threat to Gaggal. “These are rumours and the residents should not entertain these.”

He said the Airport Authority of India was mulling over expanding its airstrip and terminal area to upgrade it from visual flight rule to instrumental flight rule.

He said the authority had proposed to expand the airstrip from 1,375 metres to at least 1,930 metres. “It also wants the instrumental landing system here,” he added.

Apart from the expansion, the authority was considering equipping the Kangra airport with Doppler Very High Frequency Omni directional Radio Range, he said.

The minister said the refill facility would be made available at the Kangra airport by October this year. He stated that the expansion would bring down load penalties (the main reason behind high air fare on the Delhi-Dharamsala route).

He said visibility problem would also be addressed, adding that there would be no more cancellations or diversions due to bad weather.

He said apart from boosting tourism, the airport could be used during disasters and emergencies.

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