Punjab cm seeks international airport in


Staff member

Amritsar February 26:
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal sought ‘no objection certificate’ for building an international airport near Ludhiana and said international airports at Mohali and Amritsar should be renamed as Shajeed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh and Sri Guru Ram Dassji international airports.

The Chief Minister raised these issues before Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel during the inauguration of an integrated terminal building at the Rajasansi International Airport here. “The renaming of two airports after two leading figures from Punjab should be done in view of the people’s sentiments,” said Badal, adding he had even impressed upon Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard.

Regarding an international airport near Ludhiana, Punjab’s industrial hub, Badal said: “The Civil Aviation Ministry should issue the no objection certificate as soon as possible. The Ministry of Defence has already approved the project.” The proposed airport near Ludhiana has to be constructed in the public private partnership (PPP) mode. Badal also requested Patel to give expeditious clearance for the upgradation and modernisation of the existing Shanewal airport.

Said Badal: “The Civil Aviation Ministry has already approved setting up of two flying academies at Talwandi Sabo and Faridkot to train youth in flying, which has now become a lucrative profession.” He also sought financial and technical support from the Civil Aviation Minister to establish a world class university of civil aviation in Punjab and urged him to send a delegation of senior officers to visit a few civil aviation universities of international repute to study the structure and pattern to establish them in the State.

Referring to the cancelled international flights of Air India from Rajasansi airport, Chief Minister Badal urged Patel to restore the previous schedule and frequency of these flights in view of the heavy influx of approximately 1.5 lakh devotees daily, who visit Amritsar to pay obeisance at Sri Darbar Sahib and other religious and historic places. The Civil Aviation Minister, on his part, said he would take up the issue of renaming Amritsar and Mohali airports with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.