The Srinagar airport does not have landing aids that enable the runway to remain open when visibility dips.
SRINAGAR â At least 42 flights were cancelled at Sheikh-ul-Alam International Airport in Srinagar on Tuesday due to poor visibility as most parts of the Kashmir valley received fresh snowfall.
Director Airport, Akashdeep Mathur, told Mountain Ink that out of 44 flights, 42 were cancelled due to weather disturbance. Tomorrow, he said, 42 flights are scheduled but their departure depends on the weather.
Today, among the 42 flights, one international flight was also cancelled. Mathur said that the remaining two flights are possible as the weather has improved.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, took a dig at the administration and said that travel in to and out from the valley in winter is not a pleasant experience. He tweeted: âOur âinternational airportâ has no landing aids that enable runway to remain open when visibility dips.We make such a big deal about tourism &investment promotion now imagine the plight of those tourists whoâve sat all day outside the terminal &watched their flights get cancelled [SIC].â
Meanwhile, officials said that the passengers of the cancelled flights shall be rescheduled in the next available flight of the concerned airlines and that there will be no extra charges for rescheduling. âThose whose flights were cancelled today will be accommodated in new flights without any extra charges.â
The weatherman has predicted more snow and rain till January 9. Meteorological Department (MeT) officials said that there is a possibility of light to moderate snowfall in J&K and Ladakh till January 9.
As per the advisory, two successive Western Disturbances are most likely to affect J&K and Ladakh till January 9. The main activity would be on January 5 and January 8, the advisory reads. âThe system is likely to cause heavy rain/snow in Pirpanjal range of Jammu division (from Bhaderwah to Banihal), upper reaches of Kashmir (Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Baramulla and Kupwara and Drass sub division of Ladakh).
The advisory maintained that the fresh snowfall would disrupt surface and air transport including Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only road connecting the Valley with the rest of the world.
There is a possibility of avalanches and landslides in vulnerable areas and also disruption of power in hilly areas as well, it said, appealing people not to venture out in sloppy areas during snowfall.
Meanwhile, authorities said that the major roads including Mughal Road, Srinagar-Sonamarg-Gumri road and others shall remain closed for the traffic in view of snow accumulation.
Although the Srinagar-Jammu highway, the only road connecting the Valley with the rest of the world, was open for traffic, however, the officials appealed to people to undertake journeys along the highway only after confirming the status of the road from traffic control units.
Syed Uzma is a bachelor's student of Journalism & Mass Communication at the Cluster University, Srinagar. She is currently an editorial intern at the Mountain Ink.