Chandigarh, May 23
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday directed the State Civil Aviation department to immediately tie up with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airport Authority of India for starting direct international flights from Mohali International Airport, especially to Canada, the US and the UK.
At present, only two international flights are operational from Mohali International Airport to Dubai and Sharjah.
Chairing a meeting to review the functioning of the Civil Aviation department at his official residence here on Monday morning, Mann said since the major chunk of Punjabi population is settled in various countries including Canada, the US, the UK, New Zealand and Australia, this initiative would facilitate the Punjabi diaspora settled abroad to visit their native places in Punjab in a seamless manner.
To give impetus to the agro and food processing industry in the state, the CM asked the department to immediately start cargo flights from Mohali International Airport to make Punjab an open market.
He said the step would go a long way in giving the much-needed boost to the export of food products across the globe, especially in supplementing manifold the income of state farmers.
Mann asked the department to immediately convene a meeting with the Haryana Civil Aviation department to evolve a broad consensus so that the Mohali International Airport be named after Bhagat Singh.
He stressed the need to make International Civil Enclave at Halwara operational at the earliest so that the trade and industrial activities in the vicinity of Ludhiana could get a boost.
To streamline the functioning of Punjab State Civil Aviation Council, Mann asked the Civil Aviation Secretary to work out modalities for giving preference to the state youth in imparting flying training to be fully equipped as professional trained pilots.
He asked the department to intensify its efforts to upgrade CAT-2 to the advanced CAT-3 system for facilitating the flying operations in the low-visibility conditions, especially during the dense fog in winters.
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