Uttarakhand CM wants an airport in Chaukhatia & fixed-wing air connectivity in Pithoragarh

The Uttarakhand government has urged the Central government for an airport at Chaukhatia near Bharadisen of the state, State Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami informed.

His remarks came during a conversation with ANI after the 23rd Central Zonal Council Meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Bhopal concluded.

He expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for increasing the capacity of Dehradun airport. “Apart from the expansion of Pantnagar and Pithoragarh airports in the state, the airport is to be expanded at Gauchar and Chinyalisaud so that Chardham Yatra can be facilitated,” he said.

Uttarakhand CM wants an airport in Chaukhatia & fixed-wing air connectivity in Pithoragarh

Uttarakhand has 5 airports apart from Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. Gauchar Airport, Bharkot Airport (not operational for commercial flights), Naini Saini Airport (Pithoragarh airport), and Pantnagar Airport.

Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun is the primary airport in Uttarakhand where the majority of domestic flights from the country arrive. Pant Nagar airport is located in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Other smaller airfields in Uttarakhand are situated in Gauchar, Bharkot as well as Naini Saini airport in the Pithoragarh district.

Dehradun Airport’s commercial operations began on 30 March 2008, after a runway extension to accommodate larger aircraft. A new terminal building was inaugurated in February 2009. The current passenger terminal was inaugurated in October 2021. 

Dehradun Airport’s commercial operations began on 30 March 2008, after a runway extension to accommodate larger aircraft

Located 20 km from Rishikesh, and 35 km from Haridwar, the airport Dehradun Airport is the 30th busiest airport in India, with over 1 million annual passengers. It is also known as the Air Gateway of Garhwal and plays an important role in the tourism of Uttarakhand.

Fixed-wing air connectivity in Pithoragarh

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami emphasised the need for fixed-wing aircraft connectivity with the state’s Pithoragarh town during a meeting with Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia in the national capital.

He discussed in detail the issue of air connectivity in the state. Currently, the process of selection of airlines for three air routes – Pithoragarh-Pantnagar, Pithoragarh-Hindon and Pithoragarh-Dehradun is in progress under the Regional Connectivity Scheme.

According to an official statement from CM Dhami’s office, Scindia has directed the officers of his ministry that by September 30 work order should be issued to the airlines in this regard at the level of the Civil Aviation Ministry so that further action can be taken to establish the connectivity of Pithoragarh.

The Chief Minister said that the state government has proposed that considering the strategic importance of Naini Saini Airport, it should be upgraded from 2B to 3C and handed over to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) for independent management.

Naini Saini Airport should be upgraded from 2B to 3C and handed over to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) for independent management.

It was decided on this subject that the AAI and the government of Uttarakhand will prepare the service conditions of the MoU without delay so that an early decision can be taken in this regard. CM Dhami requested to direct Pawan Hans for a smooth operation of the heli-service to Pithoragarh under the Regional Connectivity Scheme and to connect Almora with the heli-service.

On this, Scindia directed the officers of the Ministry that action should be taken regarding regular service from the Ministry of Civil Aviation about providing air service of Pawan Hans every day from Friday, August 26.

Dhami also said, “to improve the air connectivity of Kumaon, a green field airport is proposed at Pantnagar.” He requested to conduct an OLS survey of the new alignment proposed by the State Government for the expansion of Pantnagar Airport.

Dhami also said, “to improve the air connectivity of Kumaon, a green field airport is proposed at Pantnagar.”

In this regard, the Union Minister said, “By November 30, instructions have been given to the Ministry of Civil Aviation for the OLS survey related to the project, along with instructions to prepare the DPRs of two small airports Gauchar and Chinyalisaud.”

Along with Dehradun, the Chief Minister expected the Union minister to make Pantnagar airport an international airport.

On this occasion, Chairman of Airport Authority of India Sanjeev Kumar, Additional Secretary Civil Aviation of the Government of India Usha Padi, Secretary to Chief Minister Shailesh Bagoli, and Secretary Civil Aviation Dilip Jawalkar were also present.

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