Officials of Srinagar airport have announced that all cancelled flights are resumed for operation from Sunday. The aviation connectivity between Kashmir and the rest of the country had been restored, a day after heavy snowfall in Kashmir valley prompted the cancellation of all flights in Srinagar.
Due to heavy snowfall and limited visibility, all 40 planes planned to depart from Srinagar airport on Saturday were cancelled.
"Air traffic to and from Srinagar airport was restored on Sunday morning. Planes are arriving on time," said an official with the Airports Authority of India.
On Saturday, snowfall decreased visibility at the airport to less than 600 metres, according to the official.
Since January 4, about 270 flights from Srinagar airport have been cancelled due to bad weather. To clear the backlog produced by the aircraft cancellations, certain airlines have stopped accepting new bookings for the Srinagar region.
The authorities asked the passengers to reschedule their flights, which, according to an ET source, will be done at no extra cost by the airlines. "If travellers opt to cancel their trip, they are entitled to a full refund," an unnamed source said to Economic Times.
Srinagar airport to install upgraded instrument landing system
Low visibility issues of Srinagar will be addressed soon. According to the official, an updated instrument landing system (ILS) will be installed at Srinagar airport. "The CAT-II ILS will be installed starting in April 2022 and completed by November 2022. Hopefully, we will not face these difficulties next year," he added.
Over the last few days, aviation transportation to and from Kashmir has been severely disrupted, with many flights being cancelled due to poor visibility. The temperature in Srinagar came down to 0.2 degrees Celsius on Thursday.
According to the meteorological office, the weather at Srinagar is expected to improve significantly starting from today and then will be mostly dry for the next four days.
The Kashmir valley is currently experiencing the most challenging winter season in its history, called 'Chilla-i-Kalan,' which began on December 21, which will last for 40 days. During this period, the valley's water bodies would freeze, and there will be disruption in the water supply. The Chilla-i-Kalan period is expected to end on January 31, 2022, but the cold wave will likely to continue.