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Save Amritsar Airport.
Reply #15 - 14. Nov 2008 at 16:25
New Delhi, November 11: Former cricketer and BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday asked the Centre and the Punjab government to take urgent steps to save Raja Sansi Airport at Amritsar from closure in the wake of some major airlines withdrawing flights from the airport.  
Sidhu, who met Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel in New Delhi, said factors like ‘high’ landing charges, delay in completion of work and lack of facilities for cargo activities, among other things, were deterring airlines from operating from the holy city.  
He pointed out that the decision by some carriers to discontinue global flights from Amritsar "has come as a bolt, which in turn will demoralise the investors, thereby affecting the livelihood of thousands" and wanted the government to take corrective measures.  
The economic downturn has forced some Indian and foreign carriers to curtail some of their international services from Amritsar during the past few weeks.  
Claiming that landing charges in Amritsar were "much higher" than those at Delhi airport, Sidhu demanded that the charges be slashed by 50 per cent.  
On aeronautical charges, the Ministry maintained that since 2003, the newly declared international airports like Amritsar were charging the same rates as those of other domestic airports. This decision of the government was in operation since April 2003, official sources said.  
Sidhu urged the Centre and the state government to "take urgent necessary measures to save Amritsar airport from a close down" and demanded that funds be immediately released for acquisition of 40 acres of land for expanding the airport.  
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