The first commercial flight from the Hindon civil airport adjacent to the Air Force's Hindon airbase operated on Friday when a nine-seater plane took off for Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district. The flight operations were launched by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat at a brief ceremony held at the Hindon airport in the National Capital Region.
A Heritage Aviation aircraft with nine passengers on board took off from Naini-Saini airport in Pithoragarh to mark the start of flight operations between the hill town and the Hindon airport. "Civil Air Terminal at Hindon Airport today witnessed the commencement of commercial flight operations. Air Heritage's flight 4H-104 from Pithoragarh to Hindon and 4H-105 from Hindon to Pithoragarh started operations today," a statement issued by Airports Authority of India said.
The flight service will be available six days a week accept on Thursday. The flight will arrive at the Hindon airport at 12:30 PM, while it will depart for Pithoragarh at 1:00 PM. The fare from Pithoragarh to Hindon is Rs 2,470 while the return flight will cost Rs 2,270, he said.
It is being seen as a major boost to air connectivity between the border district and New Delhi. Expressing happiness over the launch of the flight operations between the two places, Rawat said apart from Pithoragarh, it will also bring places like Almora, Champawat and Bageshwar of the state closer to New Delhi.
Travelling to New Delhi by road from these places used to take a lot of time. People can now benefit from flight services which are economical too apart from being time saving, Rawat said. A tulip garden is being developed in Pithoragarh which will attract a large number of tourists. Air connectivity will make it easier for tourists to visit Pithoragarh and neighbouring destinations worth visiting, he said.
Union minister V K Singh, Nainital MP and Pradesh BJP president Ajay Bhatt and Almora MP Ajay Tamta were also present at the ceremony. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the building of the civil terminal on March 8.
It takes nearly 18 hours by road to reach the NCR from Pithoragarh. It will enhance tourism in Uttarakhand as Pithoragarh district is located at the international border and Nepal is adjoining to it, Rawat said.
On Thursday, the additional director general (ADGP) of police Meerut zone had also visited the civil terminal and took stock of security situation. He told reporters that Sahibabad Deputy Superintendent of Police Rakesh Mishra was deputed as the chief security officer of the civil airport.
An inspector, 15 sub inspectors, six head constables, 30 constables, a lady sub inspector and woman constables have been pressed into service to provide security. The AAI said that a communication has been received from Star Air that they are also going to operate scheduled flights on Hubli-Hindon-Hubli route with effect from November 6.
"Star Air will fly EMB-145 (Jet engine), a 50-seater aircraft," the AAI said.
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