He said that Shimla, Kullu and Kangra towns have been identified as places of major importance for encouraging tourist and citizens of the state. He requested the union ministry to subsidize the heli- taxi flights in the state on the pattern of north eastern state to provide connectivity on loss making routes and told that "Seat Underwriting" on flights by state Govt. to incentivise private run airlines is not possible due to financial constraints of the state Govt.
Mukesh Agnihotri said that the state Govt. plans to construct Green Field Airports at Kandaghat, Jawalamukhi, Ranital to promote tourism and air connectivity in the state and told that Airport Authority of India has been requested to prepare pre-feasibility report on all these airports.
He said that the state Govt. has selected suitable land for construction of all these airports. He said that the state Govt. also proposes to extend the airstrip at Kullu airport for which technical assistance from IIT Roorkee has been taken.
The minister said that at present there are 63 operational helipads at various places in the state and added that the state Govt. has identified new locations for constructions of helipads in the state.
He said that the state Govt. has provided free land to Airport Authority of India for construction of Shimla, Kullu and Kangra airports in order to strengthen the air services in the state and has taken initiative to extend the airstrip of the Kullu airport. He said that the state govt is not imposing any property tax on airport land.
He requested the civil aviation ministry to include Himachal Pradesh in the development of 50 new low cost airports and 20 new bigger airports so as to strengthen the air services in the absence of rail network in the state.