Jaipur: The Airport Authority of India is going to operationalise civil airports in Jaisalmer and Bikaner this year, AAI Chairman VP Agrawal said on Tuesday. Till date, both cities only have air force stations for flight operations. The AAI will also initiate survey of unused but potential airstrips and runways which could be revived in order to improve air connectivity in the state, Agrawal told reporters.
"Jaisalmer airport, spread over 65 acres land, is ready and we plan to inaugurate it in August while flight operations are likely to be started in the month of October," Agrawal said.
"The Bikaner airport would also be started in August," the AAI Chairman said. Agrawal said the work for airport in Kishangarh town in Ajmer, for which the state government has recently transferred land, would also begin in July.
"We are looking for such locations which can be connected by air. One of such potential sites is Sawaimadhopur which is frequented by people due to Ranthambore National Park," he said. Agrawal, who inaugurated ATS automation system at Sanganer airport here, also held a meeting with state government officials to discuss progress in projects in the state and provided suggestions for improving air connectivity which included tax benefits to airlines for local operations in order to increase air traffic.
The chairman said the Sanganer airport was running in loss. He said the AAI would carry out works for the extension of the length of the airport in order to meet future requirements. He said the AAI plans to extend 9000-ft long runway of the Sanganer airport up to 11,500 ft and one more terminal besides installation of special lights at the runway for enabling aircraft to land in dense fog.
Meanwhile, the Sanganer airport, where 80 aircraft operate daily, got the new ATS Automation system operationalised. Agrawal inaugurated the new modernisation project which will enhance flight safety and save time and fuel, thus helping in reduction of carbon emission in the air.
He said the automation system has to be installed at 38 airports under AAI's Airspace Modernisation project. The new system replaces old equipments and pattern for flight control and aircraft flying in a radius of 450 km can be monitored on screen and the flying aircraft can be easily tracked and monitored in less efforts and time under the new system.