Prem Kumar Dhumal, inaugurated the New Terminal Building of Kullu-Manali Airport, Bhuntar. Praful Patel, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation was present alongwith Anand Sharma, Union Minister of State for External Affairs and other dignitaries.
Chief Minister urged the Union Minister to include night landing facility at Kullu-Manali airport and to increase frequency of Air India flights to the valley. He urged to expand Shimla airport to accommodate landing of bigger planes besides creating quality infrastructure in all the existing airports within the State. He said that air travel was the only alternative for high paying tourists due to lack of adequate railway network.
CM added that there were 90 lakh tourists who visited the State during last year which included 4 lakh foreign tourists.
Praful Patel, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation informed that during next financial year:
- runway of Shimla airport would be expanded to accommodate landing of bigger capacity planes.
- airstrip of Kullu Manali airport would also be extended and runway length would be increased to accommodate landing of Jet planes.
Patel suggested introduction of heli-tourism in the State, which could cater to the high paying tourists and added that the available helipad infrastructure would add to heli-tourism in the interiors of the State.