Friday, January 01, 2016

Runway repair may disrupt flight schedules

If you wanted a cheap flight and an on-time landing to attend a crucial meeting or a wedding in 2016, you might be in for a jolt at many domestic airports, depending on where you’re flying to.

On December 30, Airports Authority of India officials intimated airline operators about runway closures at a key metro city airport and tier-two airports for strengthening and re-carpeting work. Discussions are still on, and airlines await a final confirmation and a NOTAM (notice to airmen) for the same.

Even though it is a periodic exercise done to fix runway wear and tear, airlines and passengers have a lot to worry about in terms of last-minute rescheduling and cancellations. Ticket prices are also likely to go up.

As per the plan, Ahmedabad airport will remain closed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for 15 months while Indore airport will be shut from 6 a.m. to 12 noon for six months. Starting May, Thiruvananthapuram will have bitumen rolled on to its runway for three months as part of repair work. AAI and airlines are meeting again in a fortnight to discuss runway operations and repair for a few more airports such as Shri Guru Ram Das Jee in Amritsar and Silchar in Assam. A single runway will be in operation at the Netaji Subhash Chandra International Airport, Kolkata.
01/01/16 Tripti Kedia/The Hindu
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