Free Press Journal

Himachal seeks central funds for modernisation of airports


New Delhi: Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Board vice-chairman Vijay Singh Mankotia Thursday sought central funds for modernisation of airports and starting regular flights in the state, an official statement said.

Mankotia, who called on union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju here, stressed the need for modernisation of the airports and starting regular and adequate flights for the state to serve the needs of high-end tourists.

Besides, he raised the matter of expansion of existing aviation facilities in the state so that proper air connectivity could be pestablished for the tourists, particularly the foreigners.

Raju took keen interest in the issues raised by Mankotia and asked for submission of a comprehensive plan, said the statement.

The hill state has three airports – Jubbarhatti near Shimla, Gaggal near Kangra and Bhuntar near Kullu.

The Shimla airport, which needs extension of the length of the airstrip to facilitate landing of bigger aircrafts, has been shut since September 2012.

Himachal Pradesh, known for its delicious apples, a World Heritage railway and picture-perfect tourist spots, attracted 16.1 million tourists, including 497,850 foreigners, in 2012-13, according to a state tourism department report.

At present, 2,769 hotels with a 61,497-bed capacity are registered with the state, it said.