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Punjab CM Mann bats for direct flights to Canada, US, UK from Mohali airport

The chief minister asked the civil aviation department to immediately convene a meeting with Haryana to evolve a consensus on renaming Mohali airport after martyr Bhagat Singh.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
May 23, 2022 6:12:56 pm
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. (Twitter/BhagwantMann)

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday directed the state civil aviation department to immediately approach the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to start direct international flights from Mohali International Airport to destinations including Canada, the US and the UK. At present, international flights from the airport operate only to Dubai and Sharjah.

The chief minister also asked the department to “immediately convene a meeting with the Haryana civil aviation department for evolving a broad consensus on the name of Mohali International Airport to be named as Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh International Airport, Mohali after the legendary martyr”.

Chairing a meeting to review the functioning of the civil aviation department at his official residence in Chandigarh on Monday morning, Mann said since a large chunk of those from the state is settled in countries including Canada, US, UK, New Zealand and Australia, the initiative would help the Punjabi diaspora visit their native places.

Mann also asked the department to immediately start cargo flights from Mohali airport to boost the agro and food processing industry in the state and turn Punjab into an open market. The chief minister said “this step would go a long way in giving a much-needed boost to the export of food products across the globe in general and especially in supplementing the income of state farmers manifold through this farmer-friendly initiative”.

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Highlighting the significance of aviation in ramping up industrialisation across the state, the chief minister also underscored the need to “make the International Civil Enclave at Halwara operational at the earliest so that trade and industrial activities in the vicinity of Ludhiana – the state’s industrial hub – could get a major boost”.

Emphasising the need to streamline the functioning of Punjab State Civil Aviation Council (PSCAC), Mann also asked the civil aviation secretary to “work out modalities for giving preference to the state youth in imparting flying training to be fully equipped as professional trained pilots”.

He added, “Thus, this council would be instrumental in providing flying training to the local youth as per international standards… Earlier they had to get flying training from other parts of the country and even abroad by spending huge money but now they would be provided with this facility at affordable rates within their own state”.

The Chief Minister also asked the department to intensify its efforts to upgrade CAT-2 to the advanced CAT-3 system for facilitating flying and landing operations in low visibility conditions, especially during dense fog in winters.

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