Reema Sisodia -Mumbai
In a bid to augment tourism and increase air connectivity, Uttaranchal government has been actively pursuing upgradation work at their two airports at Dehra Dun and Pant Nagar. Dehra Dun, which at present is the only funcitonal airport is upgraded to to match international standards and to make it conducive enough to receive larger aircrafts such as boeing, airbus aircrafts.
Few years ago,, the Airport Authority of India(AAI) had cleared a proposal worth Rs 90 crore to spruce up Uttaranchal’s only airport, Jolly Grant on the outskirts of Dehra Dun. Currently only small Dornier type aircraft with a seating capacity of 19 to 21 seats can land on the 3,600 feet runway. Plans are on to extend the Dehra Dun runway to 8,000 feet to facilitate landing of larger aircrafts.
“There will be all facilities of an international airport in Dehra Dun and the Pant Nagar airport is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2005. Besides this, the government also intends to build at least one helipad in all the 13 district headquarters of the state,” said a top official from the state government. The state government of Uttaranchal is also planning to expand its three airstrips-Nainisaini in the Pithoragarh district, Chinyalisaur in Uttarkashi, and Gauchar in the Chamoli district.
With regards to the three airports, Arun Srivastava, director-marketing and publicity, Uttaranchal Tourism Development Board (UTDB) said, “Development of infrastructure has been discussed with civil aviation department of the state government of Uttaranchal. Detailed technical studies have been completed in terms of the infrastructure to be put up at the three airstrips under the control of the state government. The airport at these three locations could be expanded and redeveloped under public private partnership framework. Further, a number of heli-strips have been identified for development.”
The aforesaid activities are going to have significant impact on the tourism sector in the state, since the airports/ airstrips are being closely linked with development plans for tourism in the nearby areas through development of resorts, golf courses etc.
News Source: http://www.expresstravelandtourism.com