Union Defence Ministry has given clearance for operation of civilian flights at the airport in Srinagar till 10 pm daily, paving way for extended air operations between Kashmir and rest of the country. In a letter to Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh last week, Defence Minister A K Antony had said Air headquarters has already issued instructions to extend watch hours for civil flights at Srinagar till 2200 hours on daily basis.
Ramesh had written to Antony on June 24 seeking clearance of Defence Ministry for facilitating night landing and take-off from Srinagar airport. Referring to his visit to Budgam district of Kashmir along with AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi on June 15, Ramesh had said in the letter that one of the important issues brought to Gandhi’s attention relates to night landing and take-off facilities at Srinagar International Airport.
Businessmen and tour operators were of the view that it would be very desirable to have flights arrive and take off late evenings and at night, which at present is not allowed because of security considerations, he had said.