Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 19
GoAir has decided to launch an international flight between Chandigarh and Thailand, the Punjab and Haryana High Court was today told. GoAir has been sent an email asking it to submit the requisite offer letter to facilitate the grant of desired slots at Chandigarh. Its response is awaited.
The IndiGo flight between Chandigarh and Dubai, discontinued earlier, has been restored.
It was added that the departure of domestic flights was expected to go up to 65 by March-end. An affidavit in this regard states that the departures from Chandigarh were 34 till the previous date of hearing in December last. Airlines have now submitted requests for 65 departures entailing 130 movements with the summer schedule starting on March 30.
Instrument landing system
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday set March 3 as the deadline for the Union of India and the Airports Authority of India to apprise the Bench regarding the installation of the CAT-III instrument landing system at the Chandigarh international airport. The direction came after the Bench was told that major defence installations were required to be removed for installing the CAT-III system at the airport.
As the case came up for hearing, the Bench of Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha and Justice Arun Palli observed that previous orders indicated that the process of installing CAT-III was on. The Bench was, however, told that the Airports Authority of India carried out an inspection and in its report stated that Indian Air Force installations would have to be removed.
Assistant Solicitor-General of India Chetan Mittal added that the Air Force authorities had expressed difficulties in removing the defence installations as these were “major” in nature and could be removed in a phased manner.
The Bench was of the view that phased manner was a vague term and the respondent authorities were required to come out with a definite stand whether installation of CAT-III was possible and what was the time required for the purpose.
The Bench was also of the view that amicus curiae or the friend of the court Manmohan Lal Sarin could also frame other issues, including encroachments, hovering around the smooth take-off of the Chandigarh international airport.
Open sky policy
Six months after senior advocate Sarin submitted that Chandigarh was not a part of an agreement between the ASEAN countries and the Government of India regarding the open sky policy in which 18 airports across the country were included, it was stated that tinkering with the list of 18 tourist destinations would not be advisable.
An affidavit added that it would be better to encourage Indian carriers to start international flights from Chandigarh. The open sky policy essentially means that no bilateral agreement is required and there are no seat restrictions. The Bench was earlier told that the local MP had raised the issue before Parliament and the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, had sought inclusion of Chandigarh among the Indian cities notified under the policy.
Several airlines attending a meeting were of the view that international flights from Chandigarh would not be commercially viable due to inadequate traffic and low yields. The matter had reached the High Court after the Mohali Industries Association had filed a petition in public interest, seeking directions to the Union of India to submit a status report on re-carpeting and up-grade of the runway.
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