March 4: Airports Authority of India (AAI) today said Srinagar International Airport is ready for operation of night flights and it was for airlines to obtain clearances from the regulatory body, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
“Basically, we are ready, the infrastructure is ready. Since, this airport is a civil enclave, it was supposed to be cleared by Indian Air Force and IAF has already cleared it for night operations up to 10.00 PM,” Director, Airport Authority of India here, R K Shinde, told reporters.
He said, it was for those airlines, “which are interested to commence the operations, to take a call. The only thing that they have to obtain is a clearance from the DGCA.”
Once the clearance from the DGCA is there, night operations from this airport will be started, Shinde said.
A team of DGCA is expected to visit the airport this month to take stock of facilities for starting the night operations.
The Director said a number of steps have been taken to strengthen the security at the airport particularly after the Pathankot attack.
“This is a hypersensitive airport and that is why since the beginning we have J-K police for anti-hijacking purpose and CRPF, with arms deployed here,” he said.
After the Pathankot incident, number of steps have been taken to further strengthen the security like multiple checking of the passengers as well as luggage, secondary ladder-point checking, he said.
“We have deployed additional Quick Response Teams which used to move to and fro and keep the vigil in the airport area,” he added.
The director said that considering the continuous growth of the airport, AAI has planned expansion of the airport for which the works are already in the pipeline.
The expansion has been considered to handle the traffic to the tune of 5.72 million passengers per annum by the end of 2023, an increase from 2.04 million passengers per annum right now.
The building size, right now, is around 19,700 square metres.
“We are going to add an additional capacity of 33,000 square metre and this expansion will be on the left side of the existing terminal because we are already in a constraint. We will then have two additional aircraft stands, so that total stands will become 11. Also we will be having a common user domestic terminal to handle the domestic cargo in better manner,” he said.