New Delhi/Leh: Member of Parliament, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, continues his advocacy for the introduction of civil flight operations in the remote Kargil and Nubra Valleys of Ladakh. Recognizing the transformative impact this initiative could have on local livelihoods, tourism, and the rural economy, MP JTN has approached SpiceJet Limited, urging their support in enabling flights to these regions.
His persistent efforts within the Parliament and coordination with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, have yielded significant developments.
The Ministry confirmed that the Kargil airport, under the ownership of the Indian Air Force (IAF), has been earmarked for development, with a sanctioned allocation of Rs. 9.20 Crores by the Modi Sarkar for this purpose.
The Ministry further affirmed the inclusion of Kargil airport for operating RCS (Regional Connectivity Scheme) flights in forthcoming bidding rounds under the UDAN scheme.
In response to the limitations posed by the challenging terrain in Kargil, the Aviation Minister emphasized the feasibility of smaller aircraft for operations in the region. Stressing the importance of commercial viability and demand-driven services, MP Namgyal engaged with Ajay Singh, the Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet Limited, exploring the potential for the airline to establish civil flight services to Kargil and Nubra Valleys.
Additionally, the Minister highlighted the availability of Thoise Airport in Nubra for bidding under the RCS-UDAN scheme. However, no routes connecting Thoise airport were awarded in recent bidding rounds due to a lack of bids from airlines.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has requested 10 acres of land for the development of Thoise airport under UDAN, with the IAF offering 5 acres, a proposal that AAI has accepted. Plans for a Civil Enclave encompassing a 5300 sqm Terminal Building are in place pending the handover of the land.
Stressing the deregulated nature of domestic aviation in India since the repeal of the Air Corporations Act in March 1994, the Minister reaffirmed the opportunity for airlines to initiate services based on demand and commercial viability.
MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal reiterated the potential for civil flight operations to transform the lives of the people in these remote areas and bolster tourism and the rural economy in the Union Territory of Ladakh.
He appealed to SpiceJet’s CMD Ajay Singh to consider extending their operations to Thoise in Nubra Valley, aligning with the vision of progress and development for the region.