First International Flight From Srinagar Feb. 14

31 January 2009
Asian Age

Srinagar: Srinagar will formally find a place on the international aviation map on February 14 when the inaugural flight to Dubai will take off from the modernised Srinagar airport. UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to inaugurate Srinagar International Airport as well as the 33-km Rajvansher-Baramulla railway section of the Valley’s first train on that day. Earlier, the Jammu and Kashmir government had expected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to get both underway but since he has been advised by doctors to progressively step up his levels of physical activity over the next four weeks following his bypass surgery, his presence at the much-awaited ceremonies has been completely ruled out. Soon after her arrival here, Mrs Gandhi will flag off the train to run on Rajvansher-Baramulla section, the second of ambitious project being opened within a period of four months. The first section, Anantnag-Rajvansher, was inaugurated by the Prime Minister on October 12, 2008. Before returning to New Delhi, she will inaugurate the international terminal of the Srinagar airport, the official sources here said. Soon thereafter, the inaugural flight to Dubai to be operated by Air India will take off from Srinagar. Involving a cost of Rs 1,100 crores, the airport has integrated terminal building for domestic and international passengers with aero bridges. The new terminal building comprising six sections and spread over an area of more than 200,000 square feet will handle 500 domestic and 450 international passengers at a given point, besides being the first airport in India to have inline baggage X-ray system. Work on the project started in 2004 and the formation of the new airport has come up on the basis of a modern map out and flights from this airport are expected to take on, apart from Dubai and other Gulf destinations, Europe, Central Asian and Far East countries.