Chandigarh, May 23 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Monday directed the state Civil Aviation Department to tie up with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) for starting direct international flights from the Mohali International Airport to Canada, the US and Britain.
At present, only two international flights are operational from the Mohali International Airport to Dubai and Sharjah.
Chairing a meeting here, Mann said since the major chunk of Punjabi population is settled in various countries, including Canada, the US, Britain, New Zealand and Australia, this initiative would facilitate the Punjabi diaspora settled abroad to visit their native places in Punjab in a seamless manner.
To give impetus to the agro and food processing industry in the state, the Chief Minister also asked the department to immediately start cargo flights from the Mohali International Airport so as to make Punjab as open market.
The Chief Minister said this step would go a long way in giving much needed boost to the export of food products across the globe in general and especially in supplementing income of state farmers manifold through this farmer-friendly initiative.
Likewise, the Chief Minister also asked the department to immediately convene a meeting with the Haryana Civil Aviation Department for evolving a broad consensus on the name of the Mohali International Airport to be named as Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh International Airport, Mohali, after the legendary martyr.
Highlighting the significance of civil aviation to propel industrialization across the state, the Chief Minister also underscored the need to make international civil enclave at Halwara to be operational at the earliest so that the trade and industrial activities in the vicinity of Ludhiana, state’s industrial hub, could get a major boost.