The Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) administration currently under Governor Satyapal Malik is planning to commence commercial flight operations at the Kargil airport by end of the year, Times of India has reported.
An Airports Authority of India (AAI) team had visited the existing airport a month ago for a pre-feasibility study as per the plan that was sanctioned by the administration.
"The existing runway has a stretch of 6,000 feet in north-to-south direction. There is scope of extending it for a further 5,000 feet. That would make it suitable for commercial jets" the AAI report read.
Kargil lies near the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan and the airport’s airstrip had been damaged extensively during the 1999 conflict with Pakistan. The twentieth anniversary of Kargil victory was recently celebrated on 26 July.
The Kargil airport already has complementary infrastructure like ATC tower developed by the AAI but the limited airstrip doesn’t allow for full-fledged commercial operations. The airport is currently being operated by the IAF as per an MoU with the AAI. The administration under Malik is keen to develop the airport for boosting tourism in the area and has set aside Rs 200-crore for the airport’s development.