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Posted at: Jun 23, 2016, 12:45 AM; last updated: Jun 23, 2016, 12:45 AM (IST)

Jammu airport’s spruced-up arrival lounge opens

Jammu airport’s spruced-up arrival lounge opens
Member of Parliament Jugal Kishore Sharma inaugurating the expanded arrival lounge at Jammu Airport on Wednesday. A tribune photo

Amit Khajuria

Tribune News Service

Jammu, June 22

Member of Parliament Jugal Kishore Sharma along with Regional Executive Director, Airports Authority of India, Rakesh Kalra today inaugurated the expanded arrival lounge of Jammu Airport, part of the ongoing project of AAI’s expansion and modification project.

The AAI Regional Director said the departure lounge would be expanded in a year.

Meanwhile, the expansion of the entire airport still seems a distant dream. The AAI had in 2008 requested the state government to hand over 137 acres for the airport expansion, but the approval is still awaited.

Jammu Airport caters to more than 3,000 passengers on a daily basis. It has seen a considerable increase in passenger traffic in the last four years, but does not have sufficient infrastructure to cater to it.

The AAI had the blueprints of two future projects ready, but could not be taken up due to delay by the state administration.

The first plan is construction of Rs 500-crore new airport terminal —- a new building at Balicharana for 1,500 Pax peak hour capacity, 22 parking stands for aircraft, six passenger boarding bridges and multilevel parking for 500 vehicles.

The extension of the runway by 1,300 feet has also been delayed due to delay in land transfer.

“There is a plan to extend the runway-18 by 1,300 feet to facilitate safe landing at Jammu Airport. The work could not be taken up since 2012 due to non-handing of land by the Army and delay in diversion of irrigation channel, public roads and 132 KVA electric lines by the state government,” said an AAI official.

The present length of the runway is 6,700 feet which is inadequate for operation of bigger aircraft.

Due to the short length and bad condition of the runway, the airlines are operating with load penalty of 20 per cent, resulting in high airfare and revenue loss to the AAI. The approximate loss to AAI is Rs 5 crore per annum.

Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Pawan Kotwal said: “The state government has agreed to hand over the land to the AAI for expansion of the airport, but we have to relocate the existing infrastructure which takes time. We are working on it.”


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