Why did Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials choose the peak summer season for scheduling the re-carpeting work of the only long runway at the Indore airport? It seems that the choice was deliberate as the ambient temperature from March to June is more conducive for the highly specialized work, say airport officials.
About seven to eight morning flights will have to be rescheduled as airport will be operational only from 12 noon to midnight during the four month period starting February 16.
“The re-carpeting of the runway was overdue and had to be done in interest of aviation safety. Summer months were chosen in consultation with the airlines and the company that is doing the work (of re-carpeting of runway). The molten mass (surface material that has to be laid) is heated to 150 degrees Celsius and then rolled before it cools down below 100 degrees Celsius,” airport director Manoj Chansoria said.
A new furnace has been installed on the airport premises for this purpose. The decision to close the airport for morning flights was taken in consultation with the airlines and the company doing the revamp work, he said.
The runway revamp work is expected to be completed by mid-June, Chansoria said. The airport management will ensure that the airport remains open until midnight. “Once the airport is operational from noon, passengers and the airlines have the whole day to plan their schedule. An earlier suggestion to operate the airport from 10 am to 4 pm was rejected for precisely this reason,” he added.
Actually, the personnel involved in the work will have to get up at about 3.30 am to being the preparations and start work at precisely 6 am. The airport officials and the company officials will work in close coordination to ensure that minimal disruption of flights take place.
The issue of revamp of the only long runway had come up two months ago during a review meeting with Indore Member of Parliament Sumitra Mahajan.
At present, 22 regular flights operate from Indore airport daily apart from chartered and private planes.