The Madhya Pradesh high court on Monday sought a reply from the director general of civil aviation (DGCA) on the operational status of the Dumna airport in Jabalpur by January 6.
The DGCA had suspended the licence of the airport after a Spicejet aircraft with 53 people aboard skidded off the runway while landing on December 4 last year and ran into bushes on the periphery. Flight operation from the airport was suspended on December 25 last year.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Monday informed the high court that it has completed all the work required ensure safe landing of aircrafts at Dumna airport, as pointed out by the DGCA. AAI counsel, Anoop Nair, submitted that the authority had already forwarded its report on the steps taken to the DGCA. He told the court that as per the AAI, the airport “is ready for operations.” “The AAI is now waiting for the nod of the director general of civil aviation to resume flight operation at Dumna airport,” he said.
The high court was hearing an application on resuming flight operations at the airport. The application was heard along with a petition filed by one Sudhir Chandra Datt to improve facilities at the Dumna airport, including a proper approach road to the terminal.
Senior advocate Manish Datt, who appeared for the petitioner, argued that flight operations should be resumed at the airport at the earliest as the AAI had already submitted its report to the DGCA.
The counsel argued that when a flight carrying Union minister Nitin Gadkari could land at the airport at night then why was the general public denied air service.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari took the plane from Dumna airport on December 29 night for Delhi. He had come to Jabalpur from Nagpur by road to attend the marriage function of a relative a day earlier.
The court has fixed the next hearing on January 6.
The Youth Congress activists on Sunday had staged a huge demonstrating against cancellation of Dumna airport’s licence. The activists were cane charged when they were going to gherao the office of Jabalpur Member of Parliament Rakesh Singh.
December 5 accident
SpiceJet’s Mumbai to Jabalpur flight -- a Bombardier Q400 aircraft -- had a close shave when it was landing at 7.30 pm on December 5 as wild boars ran across its path
Captain Amartya Basu was flying the craft and skillfully managed to divert the aircraft
The aircraft’s main gear and nose landing gear collapsed, but all the passengers and the crew were safe.
The airport is surrounded by a jungle on three sides.