In a big fillip for air connectivity to the Ladakh region, the Government is planning to build four new airports and 37 helipads across the Union Territory (UT), Economic Times.
The Government is said to have already identified the land for four new airports which would be capable of handling wide-body aircraft. The Government is also said to be planning on an alternative airfield for the town of Leh and a direct link to the Zanskar valley.
The Government is also planning an airport near Changtang that links to Pangong Tso lake, where border tensions with China escalated last year after the People's Liberation Army (PLA) moved in thousands of soldiers to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the pursuit of its expansionist agenda.
Also, while Kargil already has a military airfield, the Government is said to have now identified land for an alternate civilian airport in the region. It should be noted that the present airfield at Kargil is used by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and is yet to get the approvals to begin civilian operations.
Meanwhile, 37 helipads are presently under construction across Ladakh. These are spread across remote and inaccessible parts of the UT. Once completed, these will be capable of even handling the heavy Chinook CH 47 helicopters. Also, many of these are likely to be operationalised this year itself.