Monday, July 02, 2018

Wide-body planes can’t operate from Gaya airport

Gaya: Even though airlines across the world are phasing out narrow-body aircraft to replace them with double-aisle planes with higher passenger capacity, operation of these bigger planes for flyers to and from Gaya remains a dream.
The Gaya airport runway is 2,286 meters long and 45 metres wide. According to aviation experts, the runway needs to be at least 500 metres lengthier and 15 metres wider if it is to accommodate the wide-body planes.

Though the Gaya airport spread over an area of 950 acres is nearly four times bigger than the Patna airport, which is spread over about 250 acres, the Gaya airport needs another 100 acres for runway expansion, according to sources.
The sources said the land issue was hanging fire for nearly two decades. For nearly one decade, the state government and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) were engaged in a tug-of-war of sorts over the land price issue. Whereas the AAI wanted free land, the state government insisted on payment-based land acquisition.
Finally, the AAI yielded ground and deposited Rs 11 crore in the treasury for land acquisition purposes. But on account of the insistence of land owners for compensation at exorbitant rates and jobs, the issue could not be resolved.
Asked about the status of land acquisition for the extension of runway at Gaya airport, Gaya DM Abhishek Singh said the issue of compensation rate was pending before the Patna high court.
Moreover, the Gaya airport apron also needs expansion. As of now, there are only three bays available. Two bays are linked with aerobridge while the third is a conventional one.
02/07/18 Abdul Qadir/Times of India