Jammu airport handling passengers 3 times its capacity

Jammu: The Jammu Airport, whose expansion has been delayed for nearly four years, handles passengers three times its capacity, an official said on Wednesday.

“It was informed that the existing Airport has been handling passengers three times its envisaged capacity of three lakh passengers a year,” an official spokesman said.

The fact came to light at a high-level meeting chaired by Governor N N Vohra at Jammu Airport on Tuesday to review issues that resulted in delays in the implementation of the expansion project.

The Governor along with Chief Secretary, Financial Commissioner (Civil Aviation) and Divisional Commissioner also undertook an aerial survey of the airport area.

A number of meetings have been held in four years to resolve various bottlenecks but the work to extend the runway has not commenced so far, the spokesman said.

The proposed expansion of Jammu Airport envisages extending the existing runway’s length of 6,700 ft to 8,000 ft towards River Tawi so that all types of aircraft could operate with full capacity, he said.

The Governor gave specific directions to the heads of agencies concerned after noting that continued delay may result in avoidable accidents, he said.

The existing 33 KV line shall be shifted within the next 60 days by the power development department, and the work to shift 22 towers of 132 KV line by constructing 28 towers on the new alignment shall be completed by March 31, 2017, spokesman said.

The construction of an alternative road with three bridges, which is 75 per cent complete, will be fully completed by PWD by June, he said, adding Army shall hand over the remainder land to the state government and Airport Authority of India without any further delay.

The Governor asked the Director, Airports Authority of India, to take immediate action to invite tenders to commence construction work for the runway extension without linking this to the availability of land required for establishing the new Terminal Complex.

A fortnightly progress report shall be furnished to Raj Bhawan by Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, from April 1.