New Delhi [India], April 25 (ANI): In a major step aimed at improving Himachal Pradesh's air connectivity and boosting its tourism potential, a joint venture agreement was signed on Monday for the development of a greenfield airport at Nagchala in Mandi district. The JV agreement was signed in the presence of Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur here.
The agreement will pave the way for the development of an airport in Mandi, which is the dream project of the Chief Minister, a Himachal Pradesh government release said.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that the proposed airport will improve air connectivity, boost tourism and generate employment opportunities to local youth. The airport will enable the landing of wide-bodied aircraft and international flights will also be able to land at the airport.
He said that the Greenfield Airport will be developed with a proposed runway of 3,150 meters for which 2,840 bigha land has been identified. The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has also conducted the Obstacle Limitation Surface (OLS) survey and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) survey.
Jai Ram Thakur said that according to OLS and LIDAR survey reports, the proposed airport at Mandi is feasible and suitable for round-the-year operations. It can have a night landing facility and AB-320 type of aircraft can be operated.
Chief Minister also requested for the landing of ATR 42-600 in Shimla airport and for flight operations to Shimla -Kullu - Dharamshala under UDAN II as a priority area route.
The Chief Minister also urged the Centre to extend the Chandigarh-Dharamshala route to Chamba and Shimla-Rampur up to Kinnaur under Udaan II.
The Union Civil Aviation Minister gave assurance of all possible support to the state. (ANI)