Shimla: Himachal Pradesh is keen to expand its existing airports in Kullu and Kangra districts to strengthen air connectivity, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said here on Friday.

For the Kullu airport, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee has prepared a detailed feasibility report for expanding its runway by 550 metres.

"As per the feasibility report, Rs.248 crore is required. Minor extension of another 60 metres has also been planned by the Airports Authority of India (AAI)," Dhumal, who also holds the civil aviation portfolio, told the state assembly in a written reply.

He said in view of the construction of a proposed 32-km-long tunnel by NHPC Ltd for a hydropower project near the runway, the feasibility of the extension runway is being re-examined. To extend the Kangra airport near Dharamsala, the AAI requires 26 acres of additional land.

"As per the report from field revenue authorities, about 30 families from two villages will be affected by the acquisition. Initially, the local people were adamant to give the land for it, the matter is being re-examined," Dhumal added.

The state's third airport is located in Shimla. Dhumal, during the last winter session, asked the central government to provide technically advanced night landing and take-off facilities at the airports."We have been requesting the central government and will again request them to provide night landing facilities at Shimla, Kangra and Bhuntar (near Kullu) airports," Dhumal said.