Kangra airport to extend flight ops till 7pm following AAI nod - Hindustan Times
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Kangra airport to extend flight ops till 7pm following AAI nod

By, Dharamshala
Jun 13, 2024 10:47 PM IST

Currently, the airport operates flights in a single shift until 2 pm due to a shortage of manpower. However, with the AAI’s recent approval to extend operations into a second shift, necessary manpower arrangements will be made by various departments.

The Kangra airport in Gaggal will soon operate flights from 5 am to 7 pm, following the Airports Authority of India’s (AAI) permission to extend operations beyond 2 pm.

The Kangra airport in Gaggal will soon operate flights from 5 am to 7 pm, following the Airports Authority of India’s (AAI) permission to extend operations beyond 2 pm. (HT File Photo)
The Kangra airport in Gaggal will soon operate flights from 5 am to 7 pm, following the Airports Authority of India’s (AAI) permission to extend operations beyond 2 pm. (HT File Photo)

Currently, the airport operates flights in a single shift until 2 pm due to a shortage of manpower. However, with the AAI’s recent approval to extend operations into a second shift, necessary manpower arrangements will be made by various departments. The state government had also appealed to the central government to increase the operational hours at Gaggal airport.

Kangra airport director, Dhirendra Singh, stated, “Now we can operate flights from 5 am to 7 pm. We are in touch with the airlines to finalise their evening schedules. Once they are finalised, we will announce the second shift flight operations. We are also coordinating with the police department, which will need to increase its manpower.”

Currently, Gaggal airport handles 16 flight movements daily from Delhi, Chandigarh, and Shimla, operated by SpiceJet, Alliance Air, and IndiGo.

The move is set to boost the tourism industry of the region which has long been favouring the expansion of the airport and its operations. Dharamshala Hotel Association president Ashwani Bamba, who termed it a positive development for the tourism industry, said that due to less flights tourists who used to travel in flights used to face difficulties. “There were no flights from here after 12 pm and sometimes tourists had to even stay back and travel the next day. The international tourists and even domestic tourists did not get connected flights to travel to Himachal Pradesh. The number of tourists coming on flights will increase and the international tourists. It will boost the tourism sector,” he said.

The state government is also in the process to expand the Gaggal airport. The expansion project, which is underway, aims to increase the runway length of Kangra airport from the current 1,372 meters to 3,010 meters. This extension is crucial for accommodating larger aircraft, such as the Airbus A320, which would enhance connectivity between the valley and other parts of the country. The ability to accommodate bigger aircraft is expected to reduce travel costs on this route. Only six flights per day operate from the Kangra airport presently and due to the shorter runway, only 72-seater aircraft can land on the airstrip.

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