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Monday, 30 April, 2012, 17 : 00 PM [IST]

India to allow private airlines to operate to Kargil

The Indian government is all set to allow private airlines into Kargil, which has emerged as a major tourist destination after the India-Pakistan conflict in 1999. “There was a huge demand to enable the existing airport to cater to passenger flights. The Defense authorities have agreed to the proposal and all outstanding issues have been resolved,” confirmed Nasir Aslam Wani, Minister-Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir.

While he said the airport would be thrown open to private carriers, he declined to outline a time-frame. “The project is on track. The Civil Aviation Ministry and other departments have agreed to the proposal,” he said. Last week, Ajit Singh, Union Minister for Civil Aviation also told Parliament that the Kargil airport would be utilised to promote tourism and airlines would be encouraged to fly there, Smita Aggarwal in The Financial Express.

Budget carrier SpiceJet confirmed that a proposal has been mooted by the Civil Aviation Ministry. “We are evaluating the proposal. We have not started any ground work on this route yet,” said a senior SpiceJet executive.

While the old IAF airfield suffered extensive damages during the conflict, a new airport was opened in Kargil district in 2003 which is run by the military.
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