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- When is the first flight?CommentQuote0Flag
- New airport takes off in style
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 19
It was not the usual day for those flying out from the Chandigarh international airport or landing there today. The ambiance and facilities were word class and there was less traffic chaos en route the new civil terminal that became operational today with the landing of a JetKonnect flight from Delhi at 8.05 am.
A total of 21 domestic flights operated from the new facility.
Amid an air of newness, the passengers on board the first flight from Delhi were in for a pleasant moment when they stepped into the arrival lounge that has international-level facilities. Equally excited were those who were arriving at the departure lounge to board flights.
Passengers, who rated the new terminal world class, were keen on knowing the status of international flights from here. “The operations on the opening day were normal and passengers enjoyed the facilities at the new terminal,” said Sunil Dutt, CEO of the airport.
“The new terminal is good and passenger-friendly. We are looking forward to the start of international flights from here in the coming time,” said Pritam Kapoor, who returned to the city from Delhi.
Passengers who came from nearby cities of Punjab also liked the new terminal and found it more convenient than the old terminal. “The road to the new terminal is better. After raising world-class infrastructure, the authorities should now think of introducing international flights at the earliest and also new flights to domestic tourist spots,” said Alpinder Singh Kang, a resident of Patiala. The first day also witnessed some minor troubles with taxi operators demanding counters and security personnel finding ways to barricade the arrival lounge.
“The taxi operators should be provided more counters here. Earlier, the terminal was located in Chandigarh and it was easy to spot a radio taxi. However, this terminal is located far from the city and taxi operators need a permanent place to station themselves here,” said a group of taxi operators.
A passenger said, “The authorities concerned should install a big screen for displaying information about arrivals and departures rather than installing small LED screens on both gates,” said Manmeet Kaur, a local resident. Security personnel raised the issue of installing pillars near the arrival gates to restrict people’s movement in front of the arrival gate.
New airport takes off in styleCommentQuote1Flag
- Chandigarh International Airport: Facilities ‘inadequate’, fliers fume
The new terminal of the Chandigarh international airport that began operations on Monday is still struggling to provide satisfactory services to the passengers. Passengers are inconvenienced with the baggage belts not functioning properly, high fares of taxis and lack of proper signages.
Many passengers claimed they had to endure long waits to collect their baggage, due to improper functioning of the baggage belts at the airport. On Wednesday, several passengers, whom Chandigarh Newsline spoke complained of a glitch in the baggage belts. “I entered the airport around 11.40 am, after my flight landed. I am coming out and it is 12.15 pm,” said Satinder, who came from Mumbai. “There was an issue in the belts and we had to wait till the issue was resolved.”
The airport authorities on Tuesday had said an expert team from New-Delhi has been called to look into the “malfunctioning” of the baggage belts at the airport.
Another important issue, the passengers said, is limited number of cab operators available at the airport . At present, only two cab operators have installed their counters. While one of them is charging Rs 23 per kilometre, another cab service provider has a ‘fixed rate’ of Rs 750 for a drop at any place in the tricity. “There should be an option of another cab operator that is cheaper,” said Umeed Singh, a passenger. “When you don’t have that cheaper option, you have to choose one of these two. Earlier, there used to be local taxi service associations operating cabs from the airport, who would charge nominal amounts.”
On Wednesday, the city bus service also started a service for the passengers at the airport. A total of four buses plied from the airport to bus stand, 17 and 43 during the day. An official said the bus service received “huge response” from the public.
The international airport lacks ATMs and eating points. No ATM machines have been installed at the airport yet and there is only one eatery inside the premises. “I don’t have enough cash with me. It is shocking that this place doesn’t have proper facilities,” said a passenger who arrived in the city from Mumbai.
Lack of proper signages and direction boards are also inconveniencing passengers. “If this is an international airport, the facilities should be like that,” said Raj Kumar, a Mohali resident who was waiting for her daughter, arriving from Mumbai. “It needs more work and then we can really say, yes we have an international airport in our city.”
Even airport and airline staffers complain that the poor cellular network and limited number of entry and exit points at the airport is giving them a tough time. “It is difficult to get a call connected in the basement and the security hold area of the airport,” said an airline staffer. “Also, we have to cover so much distance to go from one place to another within the airport. There are gates, but those are closed.”
Sunil Dutt, chief executive officer of the Chandigarh international airport, said, “There are two cab operators and the public transport is available for the public. We are working on other options as well.” “The baggage on the belt was smooth as the team from Delhi reached to the city to look after the baggage belts,” he said.
- When is first flight and where? Which airline? Are tickets availble for sale or not?CommentQuote0Flag
- I don't see international flights from Chandigarh anytime soon. Anytime you ask, the answer is always 'near future'.CommentQuote0Flag
- International flights nowhere in sight
The wait of the city for being connected to international destinations such as Dubai and Bangkok seems to be getting endless. In spite of over two months since the international airport was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there are no signs of the promised international connectivity.
Read more at:
International flights nowhere in sightCommentQuote0Flag
- Yet another Taariq!
The IndiGo is on the verge of starting the first direct international flight from the Civil Air Terminal, Chandigarh, in February, confirmed local authorities. The destination will be Dubai.
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Come mid-Feb, fly to Dubai from cityCommentQuote0Flag
- Yet another Taariq!! Such a shame now High court has to intervene after politicians and administration failed.
Dubai, Sofia Eye City
Chandigarh: Two private airlines - Fly Dubai and BH Air (Bulgarian airlines) - have offered to operate flights from the Chandigarh international airport.
Expressing to launch the flights within six to eight weeks, the airlines have now approached the ministry of civil aviation through the Punjab government for according necessary approval.
Considering it a major development, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday directed the union ministry to take a decision on their request within two weeks as per the existing policy and inform the court.
Read more at:
- Another hope:
All-clear for Dubai flight
Chandigarh: Your more than six-month-long wait to catch an international flight from the new Chandigarh airport would end this summer. Private airline Indigo has obtained the necessary approval to launch Chandigarh-Dubai flight from Indian as well as Dubai authorities. The timing would be released in the summer schedule to commence from March 27. Highly-placed sources said an aircraft having a capacity of 180 seats would fly daily between the two cities.
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- 27 march deadline also crossed...whats next?CommentQuote0Flag
- Plain and simple truth is that if the Chandigarh airport gets truly international, it will corner a good percentage of traffic from Delhi airport. Delhi airport is private while Chandigarh airport is government. So the private owners of Delhi airport will keep on putting hindrances in Chandigarh airport functioning by hook or crook. And since Chandigarh airport was built with public money, nobody actually cares.CommentQuote1Flag
- Originally Posted by lincsusPlain and simple truth is that if the Chandigarh airport gets truly international, it will corner a good percentage of traffic from Delhi airport. Delhi airport is private while Chandigarh airport is government. So the private owners of Delhi airport will keep on putting hindrances in Chandigarh airport functioning by hook or crook. And since Chandigarh airport was built with public money, nobody actually cares.
Delhi airport operating company is playing "CROOK", not "HOOK" for stopping operation of Chandigarh Airport. It seems that Modi and his Aviation Minister are sleeping over this matter. Only God can help.CommentQuote0Flag
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday lambasted the Central government and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for failing to start international flights from Chandigarh international airport and remarked that if they were unable to start operations, it should be turned into a wheat store.
Prime minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the airport on September 11 during his visit to the city.
However, international flights are yet to commence even as over Rs 1,400 crore has been spent on new airport terminal and requisite infrastructure by the Centre, Punjab and other stakeholders.
Appearing for the ministry of civil aviation, assistant solicitor general, Chetan Mittal told the high court bench that Air India and Indigo had agreed to start operations.
“It would take Indigo 45 days to start flights after customs and immigration facilities are in place at airport,” he told the court. At this, Puneet Bali who is the counsel for the petitioners’, the Mohali Industry Association, intervened and stated that a timeline should be fixed, otherwise the respondents would come up with the same excuses on the next date of hearing.
“Use it for wheat storage, if you are unable to start operations. It is not the high court’s job to get into it (pass directions to start operations). Shift operations to old terminal and close the new one,” the high court bench of justice SS Saron and justice Gurmit Ram observed, miffed over the response of government further stating that it was a typical bureaucratic reply and court did not “trust” the officers.
Mittal told the high court bench that a meeting chaired by secretary civil aviation had been held in which Indigo and Air India had agreed to start flights.
The court was informed that ministry of home affairs had given the go ahead for standard operating procedure to Air India to commence combo flights (involving two local destinations) to international destinations from Chandigarh.
Indigo wanted to start flight in summer schedule. It planned to start operation on Mumbai- Dubai-Chandigarh-Delhi sectors and Delhi Chandigarh-Dubai Mumbai Sectors, Mittal said.
“If they are unable to obtain slots at Mumbai airport they would replace Mumbai with Hyderabad to start. The aviation secretary has asked the airline to commence operations. Indigo could start operations within 45 days from the date of customs and immigration facility at airport,” he said adding that once two three Indian carriers were there, other international airlines would show their interest seeing good response.
Following the submissions, the high court bench directed the AAI to set up immigration and customs facility by April 25.
The high court further directed the AAI and centre to file a status report on steps taken to start international operations.
‘Two-month training Needed’
AAI counsel Atul Nanda submitted a report that at least two months were required to train immigration staff, even if the facility is set up at the airport. Minutes of a meeting were also put on record on substantiate this.
According to the minutes, the Punjab government has said it would give 17 officers for the purpose. The training is to be given by the Bureau of Intelligence (BoI). Punjab has been asked to bear the cost of deployment for now and get reimbursement from the MHA.CommentQuote0Flag
- This shows the will of the government machinery to start the operations, 2 months are needed to train the officers. Idiots u took 4 years building the terminal, u could not train and put governance machinery in place in those 4 years. This shows there was never any strong will to run it as international airport. Shame to all those Govt departments who were involved in this. Situation is like -
na nau man tel ho ga na raadha naache gi (Radha won't dance without nine maunds of oil)CommentQuote1Flag
- Why wheat storage? Better still convert it to Air Conditioned Bus Stand and run Chandigarh-Lahore bus. International bhi bann jayega :DCommentQuote0Flag