Punjab Cabinet Monday approved an international civil terminal for Ludhiana at Halwara Indian Air Force (IAF) station.
The Cabinet has given a go-ahead for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Punjab government.
An international airport has been a long-pending demand of the residents of Ludhiana with the city serving as business and industrial hub.
Currently, the lone Air India flight to Delhi operates four days a week from Sahnewal domestic airport.
Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu said the civil terminal would be developed jointly by the AAI and Punjab government through a Joint Venture Company (JVC) to be constituted for the purpose. While the AAI will have a majority stake of 51 per cent, the government of Punjab, through Greater Ludhiana Development Authority, will have 49 per cent.
The state government will provide 135.54 acres of land free of cost to the JVC by way of its equity in the project.
The capital expenditure on development of the new airport will be borne by the AAI, whereas that on the operation, maintenance and repairs will be taken care of by the JVC.
Bittu stated that the first phase of the project, which will include the development of a new international civil enclave over an area of 135.54 acres for full-fledged operations up to Code-4C type aircraft, is likely to be completed within three years.
Further, claiming credit for the project, he said that the matter was first taken up by him and Chief Minister Captain
Amarinder Singh with the central government. He added that some clearances still remain pending with the central government and are being worked out.
Chief Minister Captain Singh had announced that flights will be started from Halwara air force base as it has been a long-pending demand of the people of Ludhiana, especially industrialists and businessmen to have an international airport.