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Air services to Kashmir Valley resume

Flights to and fro Kashmir resumed after being suspended for three days, since renovation was on at the international airport.

twitter-logoPTI | September 20, 2010 | Updated 12:00 IST

Flights to and from Srinagar resumed on Friday after being suspended for three days, as the international airport here was handed over to civil aviation authorities following completion of runway resurfacing work.

"The air traffic has resumed and flights are landing almost on schedule," officials of the Airport Authority of India said.

In view of the strict curfew being implemented here, authorities have directed security forces to treat the air tickets as curfew passes for passengers flying in and out of the Valley.

To ensure hassle-free travel for the passengers, they had asked them to report to the Tourist Reception Centre in the city and not to head to the airport directly.

The Srinagar airport was closed for resurfacing, repair and upgradation on September 3 and subsequently the air traffic was diverted to Awantipora airbase, 32 km from here.

However, the government suspended the operations from the airbase, for three days beginning Tuesday, following complaints that airlines were cancelling flights randomly without intimating the passengers.

Airlines officials had cited the prevailing law and order situation in the Valley as the reason for flight cancellations.

The repair and upgradation of Srinagar International Airport were earlier slated to be taken up in May, but were rescheduled due to the summer tourist season, an official spokesman said.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had taken up the matter with Defence Minister A K Antony and Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel for operationalising Awantipora airbase from September 3, to prevent people from facing any inconvenience during the holy month of Ramzan and Eid-ul-Fitr, the official added.

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