Srinagar terminal to be expanded three times: Civil Aviation Ministry

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Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia today said that a civil enclave will be built in Jammu and Srinagar’s current terminal and will be expanded three times to 60,000 square meters.

Addressing the inaugural function of the fourth Heli-India Summit 2022 in Srinagar, the Minister said that the decrease in VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) from 26.5 percent to 1 percent by the J-K government has set a new dawn for air connectivity in the Union Territory with 360 percent increase in refuelling, thus increasing air connectivity to the region.

“The other roles of helicopter service have been the emergency medical services and disaster management during floods, and rescue operations. J&K has set an example of the best use of helicopter service when it erected transmission lines and towers using heli-cranes (sky cranes) on the Peer Panjal mountain range,” the Minister said.

Scindia said that his Ministry not only organizes summits but also monitors the progress of ‘Sankalps’ taken from one summit to another.

“During the 3rd Heli-India Summit at Dehradun, eight Sankalps were taken. They were providing Heli-Sewa Portal, Heli-Disha, Helicopter Accelerator Cell, doing away with the landing and parking charges for helicopter service, creation of specific helicopter corridors, helipads to be given priority while framing DPR for all new highways and upgradation of Juhu airbase to accommodate night operations. They were taken to their logical end,” he said.

“Heli Sewa portal is fully online and being used by all operators for obtaining landing permissions to helipads, and it also is creating a database of helipads in the country. Heli Disha, the guidance material on helicopter operations for State administration has been distributed to 780 districts. Three helicopter corridors from Mumbai-Pune, Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar, and Shamshabad-Begumpet have been created and new IFR corridors are being planned, Scindia said.

The Minister added that the guidelines on Fractional Ownership Model have also been released to help grow the non-scheduled operations. “Fractional ownership will lower the barrier on the cost of acquisition of helicopters and airplanes through pooled capital by multiple owners. This will allow companies and individuals to minimize their capital outflow by sharing the purchase cost, reducing their exposure to risks and making it financially easier to run a NSOP business. Fractional Ownership Model has the potential to energize the NSOP segment by democratizing ownership of aircraft. It can be a key driver to boost the number of aircraft existing in the NSOP industry.”

Scindia said that HEMS pilot called Project Sanjeevani will also be incubated by deploying a helicopter in the next few weeks to provide emergency medical services at AIIMS Rishikesh. “The helicopter will be based at the hospital at 20 min notice and will have a service cover to an area of 150 km radius. It is the intention of the Govt to expand medical outreach and access to trauma care services to a wider population base across the country using the speed advantage and mobility of helicopters.”

On the occasion, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha commended the work of the Ministry, Pawan Hans Ltd. and FICCI for promoting Heli Services as a means of public transport for both passengers and cargo to boost last mile connectivity.

“Various scenic destinations in Jammu Kashmir witnessing year-round tourist influx, which has the potential to boost Heli-Tourism market in the UT. We are committed to facilitate and help in the growth of Heli operations. I invite Industry Captains to be partners in this transformational journey,” the LG said.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ensured Nav-Nirman of J-K UT with robust infrastructure, road-connectivity to all villages, housing, rural electrification and full utilization of natural and human resources to meet the demands of the modern society, the Lt Governor observed.

Gati Shakti-National Master Plan is paving the way for coordinated implementation of infrastructure schemes like Bharatmala, Sagarmala and UDAN,” he added.

Highlighting the reforms introduced by the Prime Minister, the LG said: “Country’s aviation sector has witnessed an unprecedented growth in passenger traffic and corresponding increase in number of flight routes, aircrafts and enhanced regional air connectivity to fulfill the aspirations of the common man by following the vision of Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik”.

The LG reiterated the UT Government’s commitment to improve connectivity, particularly in remote and far flung areas and providing affordable transportation to the people of the UT.

“Significant decisions like reduction of VAT on ATF from 26.5% to 1% and abolishing the load penalty at Jammu airport has revived J&K’s Civil Aviation sector. Today, Srinagar airport is setting a new record in terms of number of flights per day. Within a year, from 20-25 daily flights, today 80 to 100 flights are operating at Srinagar airport every day,” he said.

“After the decision to abolish load penalty at Jammu airport, the number of flights has increased, the citizens of Jammu division have got better and economical facilities to travel to Delhi and other parts of the country, and the business sector has also gained new dynamism, he further added.

“We have already laid down the road map to fulfill the aspirations of every section of society. A lot has been achieved in the last three years. Remarkable progress in Infrastructure and other sectors present a tremendous opportunity for J&K UT to realize its full potential,” the Lt Governor said.

Achievements in tourism sector, development of 75 offbeat destinations enabling us to accelerate our development process and to utilize the energies and talents of human capital,” he added.

Rajiv Bansal, Secretary, Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, in his welcome address briefed on the steps taken by the Civil Aviation Ministry in providing air connectivity and heli services to un-served and potential regions. He also gave details of the day long technical sessions.

Remi Maillard, Chairman FCCI- Civil Aviation Committee and President & MD Air Bus India expressed his commitment to stand shoulder to shoulder with Government in India for the growth and progress of heli services in India.

Usha Padhee, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) presented the vote of thanks.

Various initiatives of the Ministry of Civil Aviation were also launched on the occasion.

Representatives from the entire spectrum of industries, various States/ UTs, Government departments, defence services, experts, delegates, AAI, Pawan Hans, Team of MoCA and various stakeholders attended the Summit at SKICC.

Alok Kumar, Principal Secretary, Department of Civil Aviation, J&K; Pandurang K Pole, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary to the Government, Tourism Department and senior officials were present on the occasion.

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