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ISLAMABAD: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has submitted proposals to the Planning Commission for operationalisation and upgradation of Muzaffarabad and Rawalakot airports.

The CAA had downscaled the Rawalakot airport in October 2005and the Muzaffarabad airport in November 2006 because of the PIA’s inability to continue its services there.

The move has been initiated by the federal government after the AJK president requested restoration of air link with the rest of the country, it is officially learnt.

The Planning Commission sought proposals from the CAA and a final decision to this effect would be taken by the Central Development Working Party.

An amount of Rs450 million for the Muzaffarabad airport and Rs259m for the Rawalakot airport was allocated under the Public Sector Development Programme after the AJK government expressed its desire for the work to begin on a war footing.

The CAA has recommended extension in runways and air navigation facilities, rehabilitation of terminal and extension of apron to able to park three to four aircraft because of hilly location of the airports.

A team of experts reported that the extension of runway to 4,500ft was not compatible with the ATR aircraft while the PIA wants the extension of the Muzaffarabad airport up to 5,478ft for smooth take-off of the ATR aircraft.

Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2015

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