Safety aspects of Shimla, Kullu airports enhanced

Shimla : The safety aspects of two Himachal Pradesh airports – at Shimla, a table-top airport located 2,196 metres above sea level, and at Kullu have been enhanced, a report said Saturday.

This has been done as per recommendations of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The government of India had identified 11 airports which posed a safety risk to flight operations in the country. The Shimla and Kullu airports are among them.

“The airport systems, facilities and procedures were thoroughly reviewed by DGCA to enhance the safety of aircraft operations at these airports,” the report quoting Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi’s written reply in the Rajya Sabha Thursday said.

DGCA’s several recommendations — provision of runway end safety area, ensuring proper markings on the runway and proper maintenance of the basic strip had been implemented, he said.

Officials here said landing at Shimla airport is a challenge as it is one of the three table-top airports in the country.

It is called table-top because of the deep gorges surrounding the runway.

“Though various safety measures have been adopted at Shimla and Kullu airports, the night landing facility should be strengthened for arrival of more aircraft at both places,” an airport official said here.

The state government has plans to develop a world-class airport near Shimla to boost the state’s tourism industry.

Director Tourism and Civil Aviation Arun Sharma said that land for the airport has been identified in Shimla and Solan districts and a final decision is yet to be taken.

Shimla and Kullu airports are connected to Delhi by regular flights. The state’s third airport is located near Dharamsala.

Kingfisher is the only airline that operates smaller aircraft daily on three airports.

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