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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Afternoon flights on 1st, 3rd Sunday to remain grounded

Vivek Gupta  Chandigarh , July 14, 2014
First Published: 21:38 IST(14/7/2014) | Last Updated: 21:41 IST(14/7/2014)

As the maintenance work of the runway of local domestic airport is still on, flights will continue to remain suspended after 1 pm on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month till the end of this year.

The schedule was introduced in December last year, after it was pointed out that the runway needed constant repair and maintenance to keep it operational.
 
The Chandigarh Air Force Station, that manages its runway, then decided to suspend commercial operations for two Sundays of every month after 1 pm to fix the airstrip, rather than completely shutting down the airport for over a month.

Sources in the airport told HT that the runway had lasted several years without a major overhaul. Sources added that the next call for further extension, if required, will be taken in October or November.

It is learnt that the extension work on the airstrip is also being taken up simultaneously since the upcoming international airport in Mohali, bordering the domestic airport, will use the same runway. Work on modernising the runway's ground lighting system is also on the cards.
"Keeping in view these developments, the closing schedule of two Sundays a month might be lingered on till next year too," said an official of Airport Authority of India.

A senior official of the Spicejet said that their flight schedule had already been extended.

In normal days, 30-35 flights either land or take off from the Chandigarh airport. During these two Sundays, however, 5-6 flights take off before 1 pm.

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