Expansion of Chandigarh International Airport to boost industrialisation, says CEO

Chandigarh International Airport Chief Executive Officer Suneel Dutt has said that the airport will act as catalyst to boost industrialisation.

Published: 15th December 2016 10:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th December 2016 10:24 AM   |  A+A-


CHANDIGARH: Chandigarh International Airport Chief Executive Officer Suneel Dutt has said that the airport will act as catalyst to boost industrialisation in the region and showcase it as a potential investment hub.
The new international terminal in Mohali, inaugurated in September last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is spread in an area of 305 acres and has been built using the latest green technologies, making the terminal building energy efficient. 
The terminal is proposed to be named after Shaheed Bhagat Singh and is equipped with all facilities to handle international flights and is presently handling over a dozen domestic and two international flights to Dubai and Sharjah. 
“Our travellers include NRIs, tourists, businessmen, pilgrims and students. Somebody who fails to get a flight from Amritsar can get another option from Chandigarh. The other reason for developing this airport is to facilitate NRI travellers from areas like Phagwara, Ludhiana, Jallandar, Ropar, Nawansahar, Mohali and Chandigarh itself. This entire belt has a large number of NRI travellers,” said Dutt.
The Indian Air Force, which controls the runway, plans to make it CAT-III complaint to allow landing of long-distance aircrafts. 
Dutt said that as per the plan, the Indian Air Force is converting this airport into Code 4E, which will then make it capable of operating crafts like the 777 and the 787. The work is expected to complete by 2018. 
“It will also be helpful to fly 5,000 kilometres and above destinations like London, Canada or Australia. The people of the region will then be able to fly directly to these destinations,” said the CEO.
The airport connects the entire Northern region of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand. 
 Reflecting in the figures, Dutt said that in 1, 54,000 passengers arrived in 2007 and the number is growing at a rate of 11-20 percent annually. 
“To date, we have handled 1.5 million people and set up a target of 1.8 million this year. This growth is the fastest in India for any airport. Overall growth of 904 percent in 10 years itself tells a different narrative,” he said.
With the increase in the number of flights, authorities are planning to set-up duty-free shops, a Wi-Fi lounge as well as restaurants at the airport.


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