A Joint Venture Agreement for development of Greenfield airport at Nagchala in district Mandi was signed in the presence of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M. Scindia at New Delhi today. The agreement will pave way for development of airport in Mandi which is the dream project of Chief Minister. On this occasion, the Chief Minister said that it will not only improve air connectivity to the state but will also boost tourism besides generating employment opportunities to local youth. The airport will also enable wide bodied aircraft which also includes landing of international flights.
He said that the Greenfield Airport will be developed with a proposed runway of 3150 meters for which land 2840 Bighas has been identified. The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has also conducted the Obstacle Limitation Surface (OLS) survey and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) survey.Jai Ram Thakur said that according to OLS and LIDAR survey reports, the airport at Mandi is feasible and suitable for round the year operations along with night landing and operation of AB-320 type of aircraft.Chief Minister also requested for landing of ATR 42-600 in Shimla airport and for flight operations to Shimla -Kullu - Dharamshala under UDAN II as priority area routes.
Chief Minister further requested to extend Chandigarh-Dharamshala route to Chamba under UDAN II besides extending Shimla-Rampur upto Kinnaur.The Union Minister assured of all possible support to the state.Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh gave valuable inputs during the discussion.Chairman, AAI, Sanjeev Kumar, Secretary, Civil Aviation, Rajiv Bansal, Principal Secretary, Tourism and Civil Aviation Devesh Kumar, senior officers of AAI and State Government were present on this occasion.