Srinagar International Airport – File Photo
Srinagar- The Srinagar International Airport marked the busiest day in its history, handling its highest number of per day passengers at nearly 15,200 on Monday, with 7,305 arrivals in 102 flights, officials said.
An official from the Airport Authority highlighted that the number of flights have increased to the only civilian airport in Kashmir due to an influx of tourists who are escaping the heat of the plains.
While the number of flights have been increasing steadily over the past two weeks, the airport had registered its busiest day in terms of passengers on Monday when 15,199 persons traveled through the airport.
“On April 11, our Srinagar Airport handled 15,199 which is the highest number of per day passengers and 102 flights handled at the airport on any given day. And this is only the beginning of the Summer Schedule!” an official of the Sheikhul Alam International Airport told Kashmir Observer.
The official further said that 7,305 passengers arrived at the Srinagar airport on Monday in 51 flights while 7,894 passengers flew out on the same number of flights.
Talking to Kashmir Observer, Director Srinagar Airport, Mr. Kuldeep Singh said that the Airport authority is optimistic that the number of flights operating from the airport will increase in coming weeks.
“Even though the rising number of flights is a good sign, we’ve received several complaints from passengers that the compact size of our airport has caused an inconvenience to them because of the growing rush. My only worry is that if the number of flights operating from the airport increases, it will subsequently multiply inconveniences to the passengers.” Singh told Kashmir Observer
He further added that the airport currently has a capacity to hold only 2.5 million passengers in a year, that means, about 950 passengers per hour.
“But, the authorities have also decided to build a new terminal and six more aircraft parking stands with a cost of Rs 1500 crores to ensure a delightful experience for the passengers. With the new terminal, the annual passenger capacity will increase to 6.5 million from existing 2.5 million and augment peak hour passenger capacity to 3,000 from existing 950,” Singh said.
Notably, on March 25, the authorities at the Srinagar airport had installed six new modern equipment including In-Line Baggage System(ILBS) in an attempt to enhance the air-navigation of the aircraft, passenger safety and security.
The six equipments installed include Doppler Very High Frequency Omni Range (DVOR), non-directional (radio) beacon (NDB), the instrument landing system (ILS), X-Ray Baggage Inspection System (XBIS), In-Line Baggage System(ILBS) and ETD.
“These newly installed modern equipment at Srinagar Airport will ensure an increase in rush, enhance a smooth conduct of flight operations and will provide a hassle free experience to the passengers.” Director Srinagar Airport told Kashmir Observer.
It is pertinent to mention here that on March 28, the Srinagar International Airport had marked its busiest day in its history, handling 15,014 passengers who boarded 90 flights to travel in or out of Kashmir.
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Zaid Bin Shabir
Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir