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Sunday Special » Kaleidoscope

Posted at: Mar 11, 2018, 1:18 AM; last updated: Mar 11, 2018, 1:18 AM (IST)

Now, fly from Hisar by this year-end

Deepender Deswal
Now, fly from Hisar  by this year-end
Hangars under construction at the Hisar airport. Bansi Lal Basniwal

Deepender Deswal in Hisar

The Hisar airport project is taking off, slowly yet steadily. The state government is keen to upgrade the existing airfield into a full-fledged airport as the domestic flights are likely to start operations by October 2018 in the first phase.

The Centre has selected Hisar’s airfield in the UDAN plan under the regional connectivity scheme (RCS) aimed to provide connectivity to small towns. Though the final nod would come from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the state government has already started strengthening the infrastructure of the airport: three more hangers are coming up at an estimated cost of Rs 8.43 crore. The terminal area too is fast coming up.

Sources say there are three phases to develop the Hisar aviation hub — comprising an international airport and an area with Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities. In the first phase, domestic flights from Hisar to Chandigarh and Delhi would start from October. Private airlines would initially offer 18-seat planes. These planes can operate on the existing runway of 4,000 feet. Sources say the Centre and state government would ensure that private airlines continue services for a year at least.

The runway will be extended to 9000 feet in the second phase, and MRO facilities will be strengthened. The state revenue department has also identified around 2,000 acres for the second phase. The government has shifted the proposed building of the newly set-up Lala Lajpat Rai Veterinary and Animal Science University from Sirsa road to give precedence to the airport upgrade. The MRO facility has already started at the airport as a Delhi-based firm has been given a two-year contract for maintenance at the airport. 

Sources say the existing aerodrome has about 194 acres. The district administration has identified more chunks of land: 550 acres of the government livestock farm and 1,118 acres belonging to the Haryana Land Reclamation and Development Corporation. The plan is to upgrade the airport as an international aviation hub by 2030 in the third phase.  Capt Sunil Gill, flying instructor at the Flying Club, said a DGCA team visited the airfield last week. “It has assessed the facilities. The flights will start after the DGCA nod.”

Professor NK Bishnoi of the Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology (GJUST) says the state government must also focus on development of an industrial and commercial hub near Hisar to ensure success of the airport. “The region is ideal for setting up agro-industry. There is also enough scope for other commercial activities. The airport will complement the aviation and commercial hubs.”

Domestic flights from Hisar had started in the mid-eighties when Vayudoot was roped in to provide connectivity to Delhi and Chandigarh. The services were terminated within six months as passengers were too few for the airlines to make the venture financially viable.

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