In the run up to commencement of night flights at Srinagar airport, the authorities on Thursday conducted its test.
Director Srinagar International Airport Akash Deep Mathur said they would take off a test flight. “Around 8 pm the IAF (Indian Air Force) will conduct a trial run of the night flight. And Go Air airline is operating its first commercial night flight to Srinagar,” he said.
Mathur said currently the last flight from the Srinagar International Airport takes off at 5.45 pm.
“Once night flying operations begin, this will be extended till 10 pm,” he said.
After trial run, the flights will start operations from Srinagar Airport from Friday onwards at evening.
According to Go Air official, the final decision on the night flight operations will be taken by DGCA on Friday after assessing the feasibility.
“It will depend on DGCA, they are going for the first drive. They will check feasibility, lightning and by tomorrow they will take decision of further night flights,” The Go Air official said.
Srinagar airport, which was given international status in 2005 and is the main airport in Kashmir Valley, handles 38 domestic flights a day. The only international flights operating from the airport are during the Haj pilgrimage.
The proposal for night flights in Srinagar was mooted by the Omar Abdullah-led government in 2011 but was kept in abeyance as the strategically located airport is also used by the Indian Air Force.
The Centre recently decided to finalise the operations and asked the IAF to clear the decks for night flights after state Governor N N Vohra took up the matter with the ministries of defence and civil aviation, officials said.
Earlier, the airport was equipped with CAT-I instrument landing system (ILS), due to which flight disruptions occurred during winter fog when visibility dropped below 1,300 m. The Ministry of Civil Aviation had requested the Ministry of Defence to prioritise installation of the upgraded CAT-II ILS system to allow civil flight operations at Srinagar airport down to a visibility range of 300 m.