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New airport terminal at Leh likely to become operational by Dec 2022: Aviation minister Scindia


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LEH: The new airport terminal in Leh is likely to become operational by December next year, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Tuesday.

This was conveyed by Scindia to Ladakh Lieutenant Governor R K Mathur during a virtual meeting with him to discuss the progress of ongoing and new civil aviation projects for better air connectivity in the region.

"The new airport terminal at Leh may become operational by December 2022," the aviation minister said.

He also agreed to the construction of a civil enclosure at Thoise airport, considered the air lifeline to the world's highest and coldest battlefield, by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) once land is made available.

Scindia noted that a team will shortly visit Ladakh to technically evaluate locations for additional airstrips in Leh.

He agreed to look at the possibility of operationalising commercial flights with smaller jet planes to Kargil as an interim solution.

The minister requested the Lieutenant Governor to consider lowering VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) to encourage more flights to operate to Ladakh, stressing that it will become a booster for Ladakh's tourism.

The L-G requested the minister for intervention in regulating winter airfares, support in operationalisation of air ambulances and exploring the possibility of night flights to Leh.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)