CM urges early resumption of flights to Shimla


    The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Mr. Virbhadra Singh today held a meeting with the Union Minister for Civil Aviation Mr. Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati in New Delhi and discussed various issues of the State’s concern including the early resumption of flights to Shimla Airport. Mr. Virbhadra Singh particularly discussed the issue of early resumption of flights to Shimla and raised his concern with the Minister that despite various requests in this regard, the Airport Authority of India has done nothing to find out the viability for the early resumption of the flights.


    He appraised that the Shimla Airport was constructed in the year 1987 and regular flights were operated by different airlines like Vayu Doot, Jagson Airlines, Air Deccan and Kingfisher Airlines till September, 2012 without any Viability Gap Funding (VGF) or other assistance from the State Government. Expressing his serious concern over the reluctant attitude of the Airport Authority for not providing air connectivity to the Capital of the Himachal Pradesh which is also known as ‘Queen of Hills’ and is an international tourist destination.


    Mr. Virbhadra Singh said that the work of widening of runway of Shimla Airport has been completed to meet the requirement of landing of ATR-72. He urged the Union Minister to personally intervene in this matter and efforts be made to give priority to start flights on the North-East pattern as soon as possible so that better connectivity could be provided to the tourists and other needy people of the State.


    He also raised the matter of strengthening the Gaggal and Kullu Airports and appraised the Union Minister that State Government was providing cheapest fuel facility in the State and charging only 1% vat on Civil Aviation Fuel which is lowest in the Country. He also assured the Minister that State Government was ready to provide other facilities required for the strengthening of the air services keeping in view the inflow of tourists to the State. He also urged the Union Minister to reduce the air fare on the North-East Pattern keeping in view the priority of the Union Govt. to provide better regional connectivity in the Country.

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    ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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