Naming of Pathankot airport on the name of the Late Shri Vinod Khanna.

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Shri Suresh Kumar Prabhu
Union Minister for Civil Aviation
Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan,
New Delhi- 110003

Subject: Request for change of name of Pathankot airport at Punjab to the name of the Late Shri Vinod Khanna.

We, the undersigned are putting forth this requisition before your good offices in order to propose the change of the name of the Pathankot airport at Punjab to the name of the Late Shri Vinod Khanna. The points urged below exemplify that the proposed change in name of the airport is not only keeping in mind the various contributions of the Late Shri Vinod Khanna towards the said airport and his constituency namely Gurdaspur, where Pathankot falls but also for the best functioning, air traffic and profits of the airport.

THE LATE SHRI VINOD KHANNA’S VISION TOWARDS THE AIRPORT – The Late Shri Vinod Khanna had a vision of making the airport at Pathankot a hub for trade and tourism. He had a vision of enabling traders of far off hills from Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir and the remote districts of Punjab to establish direct connection with Delhi. The Late Shri Vinod Khanna understood the importance of Pathankot as an access point for the afore mentioned states. The Late Shri Vinod Khanna knew that the progress of the Pathankot airport would also give rise to local shops, supporting transport and employment opportunities for the people at Pathankot. Given his vision and his commitment towards his constituency, Late Shri Vinod Khanna ensured the opening of the airport in 2006 through his efforts with the first flights to Delhi being made operational by Deccan Airlines. Since the airport is to become functional once again, it will be apt to consider the proposed change name in terms of this requisition. The Late Shri Vinod Khanna’s efforts towards his constituency put further light on his vision.

As you are aware, the Late Shri Vinod Khanna from 1998 served as the Member of Parliament for four separate tenures from the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha constituency in Punjab. He devoted his time and energy towards Gurdaspur for the all-round development of the constituency. He was responsible for the construction of several bridges across his constituency for which he was known as “Pullan ka Badshah”. The bridge he got built over the River Beas connected the districts of Mukerian with Gurdaspur, thereby reducing the journey by road by about 70 (seventy) kilometers. Vinodji focused on intra and inter connectivity of his constituency for the overall development of his constituency. Not only this, Late Shri Khanna also facilitated the shifting of a Railway shunting yard removed from Pathankot which helped in resolving the traffic problem in the area. His love and affection towards the constituency is also witnessed from the fact that he always considered Gurdaspur constituency as his fifth child. “Gurdaspur constituency is my child. In fact, it is my fifth child which needs my attention the most”, he had stated often. The Late Shri Vinod Khanna during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections had also demanded a special package for border districts to create employment opportunities and promote adventure and spiritual tourism in his border constituency.

POSITIVE IMPACT OF THE PROPOSED NAME CHANGE FROM CIVIL AIRPORT PATHANKOT’ TO THE NAME OF SHRI VINOD KHANNA - The airport at Pathankot was made operational in the year, 2006 with an aim of boosting the trade and air traffic in the constituency. However, flight operations came to a halt due to inadequate air traffic. Since the initiative was his and he was instrumental in making the airport functional and in light of the fact that the airport is to become functional once again from April 5th, the foremost concern now is to ensure adequate air traffic to the airport.

The change in name will attract more visitors given the name and adulation that the Late Shri Vinod Khanna earned through his efforts. The airport at Pathankot is situated near Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir border, hence it has the potential of serving as a lucrative route for all activities in the said areas. Given the same and the fact that most travelers are from international destinations also, the name change will lead to imminent increase in the popularity of the airport and help the airport in achieving the desired air traffic. An airport draws popularity from its name, an example of which is John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
A holistic approach and outlook towards naming the airport after the Late Shri Vinod Khanna is that the locals at the districts of Pathankot and Gurdaspur, who still remember his fondly, will relate the name of airport with their four time representative and this would serve as a great honour for them as well.
We, therefore, earnestly request you to take the necessary steps in this direction, for which we shall remain grateful.

Best Regards,
The undersigned