September, 2010: Local airport authorities at Chandigarh displayed confidence regarding the domestic terminal’s recent renovations by officially proposing to start offering flights to world-class destinations like Dubai, Malaysia and Thailand.

The Airport Authority of India (AAI) proposed a flight to Dubai from the domestic terminal in June last year. This flight was never established because of improper infrastructure at the domestic terminal and because the Air Force would not permit a night landing.

The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has now agreed to allow international air traffic to operate to and from the newly renovated domestic terminal following long delays in plans to construct a new international terminal. The renovated domestic terminal will begin operations from its new building from December. The AAI has also proposed Dubai, Malaysia and Thailand as possible destinations to attract new investors.

Sunil Dutt, director of Chandigarh airport, said that these three destinations are the same ones he had proposed for starting international flights from the Chandigarh. According to Dutt, ''The proposal was submitted because these were the most sought-after international tourist hubs and there is a huge scope of getting passengers for these places from Tricity of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali as well as from Punjab and Haryana.”

Dutt said that passengers could expect the renovated domestic terminal to begin functioning from December and that the terminal would offer advanced facilities. The improved facilities are to include a complex with full AC; seating capacity for 400 passengers; advanced fire safety measures; two new aerobridges to enable two flights to land at one time, and a five time increase in parking space.

The airport director explained that, ''as construction of the international terminal will take a lot of time, we will equip the domestic enclosure with complete infrastructure by December, enabling it to double its capacity.'' Dutt also expressed optimism regarding the new flights: ''We're hopeful of receiving a positive response from major players in the aviation sector,” he said.

Chandigarh city currently has 11 flights operating between domestic destinations that include Delhi, Mumbai, Jammu and Srinagar. Airlines operating from the airport include big names like Kingfisher, Jet Airways, Air India and Go-Air. 

The Punjab and Haryana governments have allocated equal funds for land acquisition to construct the upcoming international terminal. AII, in turn, is responsible for the costs of airport construction. Currently, the boundary wall of the international terminal is being built from the side of Churheri village in Mohali district.

Improved Terminal

Seating capacity of 400 passengers
Two new aerobridges to enable two flights to land at one time
Advanced fire safety measures
Fully AC complex
A five-time increase in parking space

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