The international airport in Chandigarh that was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September last year and was built at a cost of `1,000 crore is yet to start international flights. Only 22 domestic flights operate from the airport every day. The international section with immigration and customs counters is closed. The airport can handle 1,600 passengers in peak hours, with an annual capacity of 4.5 million. The airport does not have CAT III instrument landing system, and has only CAT II. Constructed by L&T, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has a 51 per cent share in the airport. Punjab and Haryana government have a 24.5 per cent share each. It is yet to get civil traffic rights from the Ministry of Civil Aviation
The ministry has a controversial 5/20 policy, which prevents domestic airlines from flying abroad before they have completed five years of operations and own 20 aircraft. Due to this, airlines like Air Asia and Air Vistara—that have been seeking abolition of this policy—cannot start international flights.
Only Spice Jet and Indigo have permission to fly international flights from here to Dubai, but they are yet to start operations. “Fly Dubai got permission, but couldn’t start operations due to technical hitches and it’s permission lapsed. We are in touch with airlines,” an airport official said.