Thursday, April 20, 2017

Gaya airport needs longer runway for bigger aircraft

Gaya: During his recent visit to the town, civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju made it clear that the era of narrow body aircraft was now over and it was time to switch over to technically superior wide body aeroplanes. Going by the facilities available at the Gaya airport, with a shorter and somewhat narrower runway, the airport was not in a position to accommodate wide body planes.
As of now, the Gaya airport runway is 2,286 metres long and 45 metres wide. The runway needs to be at least 500 metres longer if it is to accommodate the wide body planes. The width too needs expansion by at least another 15 metres.
Though the airport spread over an area of 950 acre is nearly four times bigger than the Patna airport, which is about 250 acres, the airport needs another 100 acre for runway expansion. Till such time the airport would not be in a position to facilitate landing and take-off of wide body aircraft. Airlines across the world are gradually discarding narrow body planes.
According to sources, even if the runway is made longer by another 500 metres, the airport would not be in a position to accommodate the Jumbo type of planes. At best, the airport would be compatible with A 310 series planes. As of now, improvised versions of A 320 type planes operate from Gaya airport. A 310 type planes carry 220 passengers in a two class layout. The capacity of A 320 is 150 passengers in two class layout. Jumbo jet planes carry 524 passengers in a two class layout.
20/04/17 Abdul Qadir/Times of India