Air Marshal C Hari Kumar, Air Officer Commander in Chief, Western Command, has said the Indian Air Force has no objection if the Air Force Station at Halwara is used for normal flights, including cargo

If the government move further gives a practical shape to the plan, residents of the industrial hub and nearby region will be benefited a lot, he added. 

The Air Marshal was today addressing a press conference regarding the upcoming visit of President Ram Nath Kovind at the Air Force Station in Halwara. 

The President will visit the Air Force Station to attend the President’s Standard and Colours Presentation ceremony scheduled to be held on March 22. The prestigious ceremony would also be attended by Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, Chief of the Air Staff.

On being questioned that earlier also there were talks at the government level that the Halwara airbase could be used for normal flights, the Air Marshal reiterated that under the Udaan scheme, many air force stations were being converted for joint use like for normal and cargo flights. 

“Many of the Air Force Stations, including in Leh, Srinagar, Jammu, Pathankot and Adampur, are being also used for normal flights and if Halwara is also opened to other flights, we are not restricting anybody. It will offer cheaper air travel service to the citizens. The decision of starting normal flights from the Air Force Station will be taken by the Indian Government and Air Force,” the Air Marhal asserted.

Notably, the Udaan-RCS scheme (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) is a regional airport development and Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) of the Government of India. It is aimed at making air travel affordable and widespread to boost inclusive national economical development, job growth and development of air transport infrastructure of all regions and states.

On the President’s visit, Air Marshal Hari said the President, who was also the supreme commander of the armed forces, was coming to give away such prominent awards after four years at the Air Force Station in Halwara. 

Earlier, former President Pranab Mukherjee had visited the station and presented the President’s Standards in 2013. The award of the Presidents Standard and Colours is the highest military honour for an armed forces unit. 

Group Capt Satish S Pawar, Commanding Officer of 51 Squadron, would receive the Presidents Standard and Group Capt SK Tripathi, Station Commander of 230 Signal Unit, would receive the President’s Colours from the President of India during a ceremonial parade at the Air Force Station. 

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