Governance

Kashmiris in Dubai stuck over defence and administration’s red-tapism as FlyDubai awaits clearance

The proposed FlyDubai flight from Dubai-Srinagar on 9th and 10th June has been stuck in uncertainties after required information was not given to the airline by the local airport.

This was the first international flight which would land in Srinagar carrying stranded kashmiris amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

“J&K government had confirmed that they have approved the flights but there was a last-minute resistance from the Srinagar Airport authorities in providing the technical information. They were not providing required details to the Flydubai airline,” one of the persons from the team in Dubai coordinating the evacuation flights, told Greater Kashmir.

Speaking to Free Press Kashmir, Director of Airport Authority, Srinagar said, “Srinagar airport is a defence airport and the airport authority does not have the mandate to provide any kind of information to international airlines. The mandate lies with the Government of India, Defence Ministry of India and the Indian Air Force.”

FlyDubai had asked for tech inalienable data from the local airport. This information is necessary for the international flight to make a landing.

In the month of May, hundreds of Kashmiris stranded in Dubai, appealed to the Indian authorities to arrange direct flights from Dubai to Srinagar, for their smooth return to the Valley in wake of Covid-19 lockdown.

They constantly appealed to the Indian Consulate that the stranded should be taken directly to Srinagar where they will then cooperate with the administration for further medical formalities.

It was only after hectic efforts from Dubai-based Kashmiris, which even involved pooling of money to arrange the flights, that Flydubai airline had agreed to operate three flights with 189 passengers aboard each aircraft to Srinagar on June 9, 10.

Srinagar Airport is a defence airport under the direct control of The Indian Airforce, which controls its runway strip and air traffic, while the Airport Authority has control over the terminal building, the check in and check out, and the parking of aircrafts.

AAI officials maintain that details sought by the Dubai based airline “can only be provided by the IAF”.

A direct Dubai to Srinagar repatriation flight operated by Air India on May 22, under the “Vande Bharat Mission” phase 1 brought back more than 150 stranded Kashmiris.

As per officials, another Dubai to Srinagar direct flight by Air India under “Vande Bharat Mission” phase 2 is scheduled, with more than 150 passengers to be aboard.

However many other stranded people are not listed in this flight, but in the chartered flight to be operated by FlyDubai

 

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