The Union government has decided to explore new locations in Mandi, Shimla, Lahaul-Spitit and other districts for the construction of airfields in Himachal Pradesh. Union health minister Jagat Parkash Nadda said that few unused and under used airports of the state will get additional low fare flights from Delhi soon.To raise the issue of poor air connectivity in Himachal, Nadda along with Kangra MP Shanta Kumar and Shimla MP Virender Kashyap had met Union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha in Delhi.Nadda said that as Himachal is a major tourist destination with lots of foreign tourists thronging here all round the year, it is critical to have robust air connectivity. He said adequate connectivity and affordable airfare are two significant issues confronting aviation sectors' effectiveness in the state. He said it is also decided to explore new locations in Mandi, Shimla, Lahaul-Spitit and other districts for the construction of airfields.
Nadda said the innovative and novel scheme of UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) is going to improve connectivity considerably in the state. "Unused airport of Shimla (Jubbarhatti) and under used airports of Kullu and Dharamshala are going to get additional low fare flights in near future from Delhi," he added.According to him, Sinha has said that the Centre is planning to build about 300 new small airports to improve domestic connectivity of uncapped areas and the aviation ministry too has planned to construct new airports and augment the capacity of existing airports of Himachal.During the meeting, MPs from the state also raised the long pending issue of extension of Dharamshala (Gaggal) and Kullu (Bhuntar) airports, so as to facilitate regular flights of ATR-72 type aircraft without payload penalty to these airports. They also discussed the issue of night landing facility at the Gaggal airport.