Amarpreet Singh Makkar
The lone airport in Sahnewal, 15 kilometers from Ludhiana, is crying for the attention of government from the last several years. After every span in time, the Airline companies suspend flights due to lack of infrastructure and passengers interest. Though the flights were operational under the Udaan Scheme of Union Government, the Industrialists and residents wanted to upgrade the airport. Now, the flights to New Delhi take off from Sahnewal Airport but civil aviation ministry was flooded with demand letters to start flights to Mumbai, Banglore and other destinations, apart from upgradation of airport.
Few years ago, an Air India flight from Sahnewal Airport to New Delhi was started but due to lack of facilities and lukewarm response of passengers, the flight was suspended. After few years, the flights were again started but operations were ended due to the same reason. Now, the flights were again operational under the Udaan Scheme, under which the residents get fifty percent concession in air tickets.(DVOR) system was also installed at Airport to enhance visibility it too hasn’t started functioning as the airport authorities were still waiting for the approval of Director General Civil Aviation to make it functional.
Airport officials said when the Airport was functional; several flights were cancelled owing to bad weather, dense fog and some other reasons.Airport official requesting anonymity said, “Sahnewal airport needs to be upgraded. The authorities should provide facilities and provide better approach road to airport from highway, with which the air connectivity would improve by 70 per cent.He said, “The runway should be extended up to 7,000 feet. At present the runway is only 4,800 feet long because of which an airbus cannot land at the airport.
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