Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Coal town to take wing again

Dhanbad: With New Year comes new hopes. After a gap of more than three decades, the coal town's Barwaddah airstrip is likely to be ready for small aircraft operations again. The state government's building division is currently working on a Rs 5-crore project to repair the airstrip and the boundary walls of the airport located 4km from the district headquarters.

The airport with a 3,700-feet runway also houses an air control traffic (ATC) office and a hanger. Services between Dhanbad-Patna, Dhanbad-Ranchi and Dhanbad-Calcutta were launched in 1984 but discontinued three years later in 1987 because of insufficient passengers.

Dhanbad building division executive engineer Pankaj Kumar said, "work to renovate the airport started last month. Full-fledged work will begin in three weeks and will be completed in three months".

The airport, however, is unlikely to be used for bigger aircraft since there's hardly any vacant land available in adjoining areas for extending the airstrip to 6,000 feet from the existing 3,700 feet. This apart, several high-rises that have cropped up near the airport is another hurdle.

Although a survey was carried out on September 2014 by the then secretary of civil aviation department, Sajal Chakraborty, there was no positive outcome.
03/01/18 Telegraph