Kashmir Valley to be on international air map on Valentine’’s Day

February 9th, 2009 - 6:55 pm ICT by ANI  

By Suhail Ahmed
Srinagar/Mumbai, Feb 9 (ANI): The Kashmir Valley is all set to be on the international air travel circuit, after an Air India flight from Dubai lands at Srinagar on February 14.
Srinagar’’s international airport is expected to be inaugurated by Congress President Sonia Gandh on the same day.
Involving a cost of 11,000 million rupees, the new terminal building comprises six sections and is spread over an area of more than 200,000 square feet.
It will handle 500 domestic and 450 international passengers at any given point, besides being the first airport in India to have an inline baggage X-ray system.
State tourism authorities said that several airlines would soon operate from Srinagar to the Middle East and South East Asia.
“So far, Air India is going to operate from Dubai to Srinagar directly. In near future, Kingfisher and other airlines are going to operate from South East and Middle East,” said Farooq Ahmad Shah, Director, Department of Tourism, Jammu and Kashmir.
People in Jammu and Kashmir, where a large number of them are directly or indirectly linked with tourism trade, are extremely happy about Kashmir being put on the international aviation map as it is expected to boost tourism prospects of the state.
“The people are very happy about the international airport. The people are going to benefit. The tourists who come from abroad will directly reach Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier the tourists could not reach Jammu and Kashmir directly. But, now they can do that,” said Fayaz Ahmed, a resident.
Residents are elated about Srinagar airport turning international and said it is a dream come true for them international tourists arrivals expected to fillip new jobs avenues for the youth. (ANI)

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