Both airports will be inaugurated in August this year

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has decided to operationalise civil airports in Jaisalmer and Bikaner, both in Rajasthan.

The airports will be inaugurated in August this year, AII chairperson V.P. Agarwal told journalists here on Tuesday.

“The Jaisalmer airport is ready and flight operations are expected to begin in October,” said Mr. Agarwal.

Mr. Agarwal also said the AAI would conduct surveys about unused airstrips and old airport buildings in Rajasthan, which could be revived and developed for improving air connectivity.

Sawai Madhopur, where the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is located, is one such site that could be developed in view of the high frequency of tourists.

Besides, the authority would also soon begin work on the proposed airport at Kishangarh in Ajmer for which the State government had already transferred land.

Extension of runway

Mr. Agarwal was here to inaugurate the ATS automation system at the International airport. The AAI plans to extend the 9,000-foot-long runway of the Sanganer airport to 11,500 feet, add another terminal and install special lights on the runway to enable landing in dense fog conditions.

The new automation system was expected to enhance flight safety, save time and fuel and help reduce carbon emissions, said Mr. Agarwal.

Such systems would be installed at 38 airports under the AAI’s Airspace Modernisation project.

Strategically important

Being the second biggest airport in north India, the Jaipur international airport at Sanganer was strategically important, as it served as a backup for the Delhi international airport during bad weather and other emergency scenarios, he said.