Rajasthan News

New Jaisalmer Airport waiting to start air service

by RajasthanDirect
Feb 09, 2014

Even after 18 months of construction of a new airport in Jaisalmer, its runway deprived from air service as no airline is showing interest in operations.

Despite Rs 80 crore were spent on the airport, the centre and state government did not make any serious efforts to connect the tourist hotspot with air service. There is an atmosphere of disappointment among tourism businessmen and tourists, both domestic and foreign, as flight services are not starting.

The tourist season will come to an end in March. Even the desert festival to be held from February 12 is fast approaching but tourists remain deprived.

Airport authority of India joint general manager (engineering) civil Narendra Makhija said that the construction of civil airport of Jaisalmer was ready 18 months ago at Khuhadi route, 10kms away from the Jaisalmer district headquarters. The civil airport has been built on 24 hectare area at a cost of Rs 80 crore and has all the modern facilities. Civil airport building work has been completed and underground car parking is also ready.

He said that looking to the future requirements, grand modern terminal has been built at the airport and many such provisions have been made which would be required in the future including air bridge, foot bridge, etc. Three flight services can be handled at the same time from this terminal.

“The state government in 2004 had allotted 60 acres of land free-of-cost for the civil airport, now when the work has been completed, they are waiting for some air company to start its services here. The tourist season has started, but no aviation company has shown any interest,” Makhija said.

Jaipur airport director SN Borkar said that when he was posted in Jodhpur that time he had made a lot of efforts to start air service in Jaisalmer. Talks were held with Spicejet and the company had expressed interest to start air service in Jaisalmer, but a long time has passed and there has been no information of the company starting any flight service from here.

Tourism businessmen federation president Jitendra Singh Rathore said that many tourists coming to India want to visit Jaisalmer, but due to paucity of time, they are unable to come.

He said that out of the tourists coming to India, 15-20% tourists due to shortage of time go only to those tourist places, where there is air connectivity. Such tourists feel disappointed when they come to know that there is no air connectivity to Jaisalmer.

Another tourism businessman manvendra Singh Shekhawat said that every year during the tourism seasons, 50-60% tourists come by chartered plane and attraction for Jaisalmer is increasing among tourists year after year. Now with the starting of civil airport, there will be more numberof tourists coming to Jaisalmer.

He said that with the starting of air service, there will be boom in the tourism business along with defence forces, oil, gas and wind mills and many corporate will also be benefitted. He said centre and state government by contacting aviation companies should make efforts to start air service to Jaisalmer.

Hotelier Mayank Bhatia said that building is suffering damage due to want of maintenance and there is an air of disappointment among businessmen and hoteliers as air service is not starting till now.

Rs 80 crore was spent on this airport, despite that centre and the state government did not make any serious efforts to connect world famous tourist place Jaisalmer with the air service. There is an atmosphere of disappointment among tourism businessmen and domestic and foreign tourists as flight services are not starting.

Tourists remain a deprived lot as the tourist season, that lasts till March, is on its way out. Even the desert festival, to be held from February 12, is fast approaching but tourists remain deprived.

src: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Jaisalmer-airport-still-awaits-air-service/articleshow/30073849.cms

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