Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport
Sheikh-ul-Alam International Airport
|Owner||Indian Air Force|
|Operator||Airports Authority of India|
|Serves||Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India|
|Elevation AMSL||1,655 m / 5,429 ft|
|Statistics (April 2017 – March 2018)|
Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport (IATA: SXR, ICAO: VISR) also known as Srinagar Airport is a military airbase that serves Srinagar, the summer capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is owned by the Indian Air Force, and the Airports Authority of India operates a civil enclave at the airport. Although, designated an international airport in 2005, the Srinagar airport does not receive scheduled international flights as of September 2018 but has seen Hajj Flights. It has an integrated terminal and one asphalt runway. The airport has bus and taxi service to the city of Srinagar, which lies 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) to the north. The airport actually resides in Budgam which is just 4 km from Srinagar.
Originally, the Srinagar airport was used only by the Indian Air Force. During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, the airport received an airlift of Indian troops who prevented Pakistan from capturing the city of Srinagar. Although the airport was small and lacked landing aids, the airlift was still carried out successfully on 27 October. In September 1965, the Srinagar airport was subjected to an air raid amid the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, which left some aircraft damaged.
In 1979, the Airports Authority of India established a civil enclave at the airport. The terminal was modified in February 1998 to be able to handle international Hajj flights, which first started operating from Srinagar in January 2002. During the Kargil War in 1999, the airport was taken over completely by the Air Force, and civilian flights were prohibited from landing.
In March 2005, the airport was granted international status by the Indian government. In 2006 the airport was renamed Sheikh-ul-Alam International Airport after the Kashmiri patron saint. An expanded terminal, able to serve both domestic and international flights, was inaugurated on 14 February 2009 by politician Sonia Gandhi. It was part of a larger expansion project that also included an increase in the number of parking stands from four to nine. The total cost of the project was ₹1.3 billion (US$19 million), fully provided by the Indian government. On the same day, Air India Express started once weekly flights to Dubai, the first regularly scheduled international flights from Srinagar. However, due to low demand from passengers, the flights were terminated in January 2010. The authorities are planning to create a new airport terminal handling International flights as of 2019.
The Srinagar airport has an integrated terminal, handling both domestic and international flights. It covers 19,700 square metres (212,000 sq ft) and can serve 950 passengers at a time: 500 domestic and 450 international passengers. The terminal is designed to look like the Himalayas and has a sloping roof that facilitates snow removal. Amenities include a restaurant, a handicrafts shop, ATMs, currency exchange, chocolates shop, and free WiFi. There are 4 aerobridges linked with the terminal.
There is a single asphalt runway, 13/31, with dimensions 3,685 by 46 metres (12,090 ft × 151 ft). It has been equipped to handle instrument landing system approaches since February 2011. Several food joints like KFC and Pizza Hut are also available in the airport since 2018.
In December 2017, it was announced that the airport will handle night operations from the airport. Later in August 2018, a test flight was conducted by DGCA Team and it was passed. As of Feb 2019, the airport does not handle any night operations.
Airlines and destinations
|Air India||Delhi, Jammu, Leh|
Seasonal (Hajj): Medina
|GoAir||Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Delhi, Jammu, Mumbai|||
|IndiGo||Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Jammu, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai|||
|SpiceJet||Ahmedabad, Delhi, Jammu, Kolkata|||
Notable accidents and incidents
On 7 September 1965, amid the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, four fighter jets of the Pakistan Air Force attacked the Srinagar airport. An Indian Air Force Douglas C-47 Skytrain and an Indian Airlines Douglas DC-3 were destroyed during the air raid. A Chicago Tribune article published the following day reported that one Indian aircraft and a "Caribou transport of the United Nations observers headquarters" were damaged.
The airport is located about 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) from the city of Srinagar. There is a car park with 250 spaces. The government provides a paid bus service between the airport and the Tourist Resource Centre near Lal Chowk, while the Airports Authority of India operates a free bus service between the terminal and the airport entrance gate 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) away. The airport is also served by taxis and car rental agencies, which have their booths outside the terminal.
- "Traffic News for the month of March 2018: Annexure-III" (PDF). Airports Authority of India. 1 May 2018. p. 4. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
- "Traffic News for the month of March 2018: Annexure-II" (PDF). Airports Authority of India. 1 May 2018. p. 4. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
- "Traffic News for the month of March 2018: Annexure-IV" (PDF). Airports Authority of India. 1 May 2018. p. 4. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
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- "Indian Army opens 2d front: Troops in drive for Hyderabad and Karachi". Chicago Tribune. 8 September 1965. p. 4. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
- "New integrated terminal building at Srinagar International Airport to be inaugurated today". Oneindia. 14 February 2009. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
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- "Srinagar airport gets KFC, Pizza Hut". Rising Kashmir. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
- "Srinagar airport set to begin night flights next week". The Economic Times. 2 August 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
- "AirAsia flight schedule". airasia.com.
- "Air India and Alliance Air schedule list". airindia.in.
- "GoAir flight schedules". goair.in.
- "6E New Flights".
- "SpiceJet flight schedules". www.spicejet.com.
- "Vistara flight schedules". airvistara.com.
- "ASN Aircraft accident Douglas DC-3 registration unknown Srinagar Airport (SXR)". Aviation Safety Network. 27 November 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
- "Srinagar: General information". Airports Authority of India. 20 September 2016. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
- "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)" (PDF). Airports Authority of India. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
Media related to Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Accident history for Srinagar International Airport at Aviation Safety Network
- Srinagar International Airport at the Airports Authority of India