Runway repair: Chandigarh airport to shut for two weeks in February
At present, private airlines do not operate after 4pm, while the airport remains closed on Sundays. This arrangement has to be reviewed in March next year.punjab Updated: Nov 07, 2017 14:58 IST
Chandigarh International Airport will remain closed for two weeks in February next year due to the ongoing runway repair work.
“The airport is being shut for two weeks as per the Indian Air Force (IAF)’s runway repair schedule,” said airport’s chief executive officer (CEO) Sunil Dutt. “Though the closure is expected in the first quarter of next year, the exact dates are not out so far. We will inform all airlines and people whenever the IAF finalises the closure dates.”
The present runway length of 9,000 feet is being increased to 10,200 feet to allow wide-bodied aircraft to operate from here.
The exact dates of closure are likely to be released in a week, said sources.
The watch hours for civil operations are already trimmed due to the repair work. At present, private airlines do not operate after 4pm, while the airport remains closed on Sundays. This arrangement has to be reviewed in March next year.
The airport operates its commercial operations from the civil enclave of the 12 wing IAF station, which is an important base for feeding logistics to troops stationed in high altitude of Himalayas.
“During the closure, both civil and airforce operations will be hit,” said an official, not wishing to be named.
However, he said the closure is vital for the ongoing extension of the runway. “The concrete runway layer will be laid during the closure,” he said.
The present runway length of 9,000 feet is being increased to 10,200 feet to allow wide-bodied aircraft to operate from here. The work is being done under the supervision of the IAF, which has taken in loop the Union ministries of defence and civil aviation besides other regulatory agencies to decide the closure.
Even as officials claimed people and airlines will get enough time to make adjustments to their plans and operations, the two-week closure is bound to put pressure on other modes of transport. The three Shatabdi trains plying to Delhi, which provides air connectivity to other parts of the country, already remained jampacked.