The new international airport serving Halwara, Ludhiana in India could be given its ‘wings’ by next month after years of delays to the $5.6m project. 

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) announced this week that the new airport was nearing the end of construction and was now set to be completed by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in July after the federal government asked for the project to be sped up. 

According to Indian press, the latest deadline for the airport had been set for 15 May but, after work continued past that date, local Rajya Sabha MP Sanjeev Arora had raised the demand for work to be expedited. 

Arora said that a recent joint meeting of government officials and contractors working on the site had seen the IAF commit to beginning the final work needed at the airport, overlaying the runway and taxiway, by 1 July for completion by the end of the month. 

The opening of the airport, built on the site of an air force station, has been a years-long process with contractors reportedly missing 11 deadlines in the last two and a half years. 

The project has included construction of a new civil and cargo terminal building, a sub-station, and a toilet block and now only requires the reworking of the runway system before it can begin operating commercial flights. 

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Halwara International is one of many airport projects in the country, which is investing billions of dollars into its aviation infrastructure to cater for growing air travel demand in the region. 

In March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated 12 new airport terminals, worth $4.2bn, in one ceremony, including the new Terminal 1 at Indira Gandhi International, and oversaw the laying of the foundation stones for three more.