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Centre Places Srinagar On International Aviation Map

The civil aviation ministry has approved the start of the first commercial flight between Srinagar and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates in approximately a month, putting Jammu & Kashmir on the international aviation map for the first time. At a joint press conference with J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha, civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia stated, “Foreign travellers would soon be allowed to arrive directly in Srinagar.” The press conference came after Sinha and Scindia conducted a thorough examination of all aviation issues affecting J&K.

According to sources, Sharjah was picked as the first destination because of the high volume of trade between traders from J&K, especially those dealing in horticulture produce, and retail outlets in Sharjah, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi. According to one officer, J&K already has an immigration infrastructure in place.

More than 77 outlets in Sharjah, most of which are operated by the Lulu hypermarket chain, rely heavily on J&K for their dry fruit and other goods. J&K also provides goods to approximately 60 similar stores in Abu Dhabi. As a result, business travel between Srinagar and Sharjah, which also serves as a handy transit point to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, is in great demand.

Srinagar used to handle foreign flights as well, but only for Hajj pilgrims. Meanwhile, the former’s pledge to hand over 122 acres of land in Jammu to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) by October 10, 2022, was one of the other outcomes of Saturday’s review meeting between Sinha and Scindia.

According to Scindia, the Srinagar airport will be enlarged from 22,000 to 63,000 square metres for Rs 1500 crore. He stated that the Srinagar airport’s cargo facility will be operational by October 1. A paid premium lounge at Srinagar airport has also been approved, and the bidding process might start as early as September 30.

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