VIP aircraft movements during Simhastha disrupted the runway re-carpeting work at Indore airport throwing the completion schedule out of gear. The authorities are now racing against time to refurbish the work before the onset of monsoon.
“Runway re-carpeting is a highly specialised work that is done only in the summer months as ambient temperature from March to June is more conducive. The work, which began in February end was expected to be completed by June, but VIP aircraft movements during Simhastha disrupted the schedule,” an airport official told HT.
The re-carpeting work of 9,000 feet runway is carried out only during the night hours to avoid disrupting the routine flights. At present, 22 regular flights operate from Indore airport daily, apart from chartered planes.
Lakhs of pilgrims took holy dip in Kshipra in Ujjain during the month-long Simhastha fair that ended on May 21. While the bulk of the pilgrims came by train or by road, many took commercial and chartered flights to Indore. VIPs including senior political leaders and foreign dignitaries also visited Ujjain during this period.
Indore airport director Manoj Chansoria said that pace of construction has picked up and the work will be completed by July first week.
Summer months are conducive for the work
The summer months are conducive for the work, as the molten mass (surface material that has to be laid) is heated to 150 degrees and then rolled before it cools down below 100 degrees. A furnace has been installed on the airport premises for this purpose. Monsoon usually arrives in west MP by mid June but met department has predicted that it will be delayed by a week this year.
Officials say the re-carpeting of the runway was overdue and had to be done in interest of aviation safety. If the work gets postponed, then it would not be possible to carry it out during monsoon or winter season.