A joint venture agreement was signed between the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the state government in the presence of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia in New Delhi on Monday for the development of green field airport at Nagchala in district Mandi. This agreement will pave the way for the Chief Minister’s dream project to build an international airport at Mandi. AAI and 49 percent will be of Himachal government in the undertaking. The airport will be built at a cost of 3000 crores. The important thing in this agreement is that the Himachal government will bear the entire cost of airport construction. 500 bigha land is government and 35 bigha land is to be acquired.
The Chief Minister said that this airport would not only strengthen the air transport facility in the state, but it would also boost tourism. This airport will be suitable for landing of wide-banded aircraft. Jyotiraditya Sasadhiya assured all possible help to the state. Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh also gave suggestions. AAI President, Sanjeev Kumar, Secretary, Civil Aviation, Rajiv Bansal, Principal Secretary Tourism and Civil Aviation Devesh Kumar, AAI and senior state government officials were present on the occasion. The airport at Mandi is suitable for handling AB-320 type aircraft with night landings and year round operations, as per OLS (Obstacle Limitation Surface) and LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) survey reports. A runway of 3150 meters will be developed in the Green Field Airport in Mandi district and 2840 bighas of land has been identified for this. The Airport Authority of India has also conducted OLS and Lidar surveys for this.