Ladakh Lt Governor and Aviation Minister discusses air connectivity for Kargil | Business Upturn

Ladakh Lt Governor and Aviation Minister discusses air connectivity for Kargil

Ladakh’s Lt Governor RK Mathur has discussed with the Centre air connectivity possibilities for Kargil and urged the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to explore possibilities for the operation of Q-400 Bombardier turboprop aircraft, an official spokesman said on Saturday.

He also requested necessary efforts to operationalize small fixed-wing aircraft at Kargil and Thoise (Nubra) under the Regional Connectivity (UDAN) scheme at the earliest.

The Lt. Governor raised the issue during a meeting with Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri in New Delhi on Friday, the spokesman said, adding that he discussed various matters on operation and improvement of air facilities in Ladakh.

Mr Mathur applauded the smooth functioning of Pawan Hans helicopters in the region for essential movement of passengers, especially during the winter months, medical emergencies, including evacuation of Covid patients, and stated that this has resulted in reduced dependency on the Indian Air Force.

The lieutenant governor urged the AAI to explore possibilities of Required Navigation Performance (RNP) and relaxation in Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) standards, as accorded to Arunachal Pradesh and countries Nepal and Bhutan for the operation of Q-400 Bombardier turboprop aircraft at Kargil, the spokesperson said.

Mr Mathur stated a feasibility report post examining the topography and other factors may be prepared.

In the meeting, they also discussed expediting a feasibility study to be carried by the International Civil-Aviation Organization (ICAO) of Kargil airport for operation of EA320/ B737 aircraft, while also studying alternative land for the construction of Kargil airport, the spokesman said.

He said discussions were also held on the matter of exorbitant airfare charged by commercial airlines during the winter months.

The Lt governor urged the minister to rationalize the issue as, during the winter months, airways remain the only source of transportation for locals, especially students, patients, and pilgrims to travel to other parts of the country, the spokesman said.