DEHRADUN: In a video conferencing session with MoS for civil aviation Hardeep Singh Puri, chief secretary (CS) Utpal Kumar Singh spoke about plans to increase the runway of Jolly Grant Airport and the efforts to improve air services in the Himalayan state.
Singh said that Dehradun-Pantnagar flight has been started and Dehradun-Pithoragarh, Pithoragarh-Hindon flights are operational. In the third phase, he said that efforts were underway to have flights from Pantnagar to Chandigarh, Pantnagar to Lucknow, Pantnagar to Kanpur and Derhadun to Allahabad as well as Pithoragarh to Pantnagar.
The CS also drew attention of the minister towards the expansion of Jolly Grant Airport. He added that at present, the airport has a 2,140-m runway, which allows planes to carry 130 to 140 passengers per flight.
He said that the state government has given an in-principle approval to develop the airport as an international airport. According to the CS, in the first phase, the runway length would be increased to 2,765 metre using which Airbus A-321 and A-320 flights would be possible and around 172 to 180 passengers could fly in a single trip. In the second phase, plans are to increase the runway length to 3,500 metres.
Under the regional connectivity services project, Singh requested the minister for ‘Non-Schedule Operator’ permit for locations identified under the project. He said that it would lead to less expenditure for the state. He also requested the minister for early construction of helipads and airstrips to boost the regional connectivity scheme.
Singh said that a detailed project report has been prepared for eight helipads as per DGCA guidelines and soon, work on the project would be started to boost heli-services from Dehradun, Almora, Pantnagar, Pithoragarh, Chinyalisaud, New Tehri, Ramnagar, Haldwani, Mussoorie, Ramnagar, Joshimath and Gauchar.