AAI relaxes deadline for Patna airport till Sept 19
For the second time in less than a month, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has deferred till September 19 the effective date of implementation of its order, reducing the runway length of the Patna airport.
The AAI had on August 4 decided to re-notify runway length of the Jaiprakash Narain International Airport (JPNI) here from August 16. On August 11, it decided to defer implementation of its decision till August 31. However, four days prior to the revised deadline, the AAI on Monday received a communication from its New Delhi headquarters, extending the deadline further.
Confirming this, airport director Arvind Dubey said: “Considering the progress on removal of obstructions, the competent authority has decided to defer the effective date of implementation of the notice to airmen (NOTAM). Today, we issued a revised NOTAM to this effect.”
The AAI, acting on an advisory by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had decided to revise the landing distance available (LDA) from 1677 metres on ‘runway 07’ (Phulwari end) to 1141 metres and from 1820 metres on ‘runway 25’ (zoo end) to 1289 metres.
The revised runway distances would allow operation of only 50-60 seater smaller ATR jets.
The AAI wanted to revise the declared runway distances because of obstructions in the approach funnel on either ends of the runway. The AAI had been waging a protracted battle with the state government over safety, given the obstructions in the approach funnel that make Patna the most critical among 13 critical airports in the country.
The state government is contending that it has removed most of the encumbrances - primarily trees, advertising hoardings and street lights - under its jurisdiction. As for the obstructions on private land, including mobile towers, the state government has said that action be taken by the DGCA, in terms of the provisions of Aircraft (Demolition of obstruction caused by building and trees, etc.) Rules, 1994. The state government has already assured the ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) that if the DGCA passed the demolition orders, it would implement it forthwith.As for the Phulwari railway cabin and the overhead traction lines, which pose obstructions, the state government has asked the MoCA to take up the matter with the railways.