State Tourism and Civil Aviation Department revealed that they have identified suitable land for the two international airports and urges government to acquire land so that the Infrastructure Development Board can initiate proceedings. The department has identified about 3,315 bigha of land on the border of Kangra-Hamirpur district in the Chamukha area. The other land lies in the Kandaghat area where 1,100 bigha of land has been identified out of which 744.18 bigha is government land.
The cost of international airport will be around Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 crore and state sole can’t bear such huge cost and planning to take up the project under public private partnership (PPP) mode. Despite certain destinations like Shimla and Manali figuring on the international tourist map, the absence of an international airport in the hill state is a major impediment in attracting high-end tourists. To make matters worse, the air connectivity in the state is very poor and there are only three airports at Shimla, Kangra and Kullu.
At present only small carriers are able to land at the three airports because of limited length of the runways. As a result the airfare is very high and almost out of reach for the middle class passengers.