|Representative Photo of a Jet Airways ATR Flight. Photo Courtesy: www,airplane-pictures.net|
Come the 18th of June, and the Silchar Airport will join the select league of airports in India, which also operate flights during the evening and night hours. From that day onwards, Jet Airways flight 9W-2880 will fly out of Silchar for Guwahati at 5.40 PM. This development fulfils the long standing demand of the people of Barak Valley for services from the Kumbhirgram Air Force base after sunset.
As per the new schedule announced, 9W-2879 will take off from Guwahati at 4.20 PM, reach Silchar at 5.15 PM and then take off for Guwahati at 5.40 as 9W-2880. This new initiative opens many more possibilities for the Silchar Airport, as other airlines may also be interested to start night time operations from this airport with tremendous potential.
The airport was equipped with Instrument Landing System CAT I and Night landing facility way back in 2009. However, being an Air Force base used for civil operations, an agreement on starting night services could not be reached between the Airport Authority of India and the Air Force. Finally, after many deliberations, in May, 2015, the Defence Ministry permitted night landing at the airport.
However, this new announcement is not an addition to the current lot of flights operating from Silchar. Jet Airways currently operates 9W-2879 and 2880 during the afternoon hours and the flight will also be discontinued for close to two months from 27th March till 17th June. The same flight will operate during the evening hours from 18th June onwards.
In addition, from 27th March, 2016 onwards (beginning of Summer Schedule), the second Jet Airways flight to and from Kolkata (9W – 2881 and 2882) stands cancelled till further notice. No official reason has been given so far for the cancellation by Jet Airways.
With the expansion in operational hours at the Silchar Airport, the possibility of more airlines flying from here also increases. There was a time when the afternoon flights from Silchar often used to get cancelled due to bad light. Such possibilities will also be eliminated now.
Silchar is a town with immense possibilities. With improvements in the air and rail sectors, the pace of development in the entire Barak Valley region is expected to get expedited. Let us hope, the Silchar – Saurashtra Mahasadak come out of the government red tape and soon sees the light of the day.