Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Tuesday requested Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapati Raju to start air services from Chandigarh and Amritsar to Dehradun on an urgent basis considering the Hemkund Sahib Yatra, slated to start from June 1.In a letter to the union minister, Rawat has also submitted a proposal regarding developing the Pantnagar airport as a cargo hub for export of perishable goods. A restricted service of Air India from Delhi to Pantnagar could also be considered for restoration, the latter says.
He said the civil aviation authority has adequate land for developing the Jolly Grant airport here and more parking bays and new terminal building may be constructed for international flights as it would also enhance the income of Airport Authority of India.Noting that Uttarakhand with its beautiful tourism and pilgrimage destinations is positioned in the international tourism map, Rawat noted that Several thousand tourists/pilgrims visit the state round the year and this is one of the prominent sectors which contributes in promoting economic activities thereby creating local employment and revenue for the state.
For promoting tourism and other related activities, the state government has established a civil aviation development authority and under its wing, it has three airfields while about 60 helipads are being constructed.The chief minister also requested 24x7 operations at the Jolly Grant airport, especially night parking facilities which will facilitate morning flights from Dehradun to Delhi and other places, that are not available presently. Under the air navigation service, two airports in the state -- Dehradun and Pantnagar -- need upgradation to CAT-2 and CAT-I ILS facilities to ensure uninterrupted air services to these destinations.