Located in the most sensitive area of Kashmir, the Union Defence Ministry has approved operation of civilian flights from strategic Awantipora airfield, the airbase managed by Indian Air Force.
A written reply by the Union Minister of State Defence, Shripad Naik’s to the Member of Parliament from Anantnag constituency Hasnain Masoodi read’s,
“In-principle approval for civil flights operations from Awantipora airfield under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) has been conveyed to Ministry of Civil Aviation in June, 2019,”
This comes after Mr Masoodi seek information about the steps being taken by the Ministry to transfer Awantipora Airport to the Civil Aviation Ministry for civilian air traffic
Awantipora Air Force Station of the Indian Air Force (IAF) is located at a distance of some 5 km from Pulwama town, and is used exclusively for defense purposes.
As per the Defence Ministry, there are seven airfields and two advanced landing grounds in Jammu and Kashmir under defense jurisdiction.
According to civil aviation officials the approval by the Defence ministry would pave way for operation of second airport for civilians in Kashmir.
This approval has come under the ‘Regional Connectivity Scheme’ which is an initiative by Government of India to make air travel affordable.