Sunday, September 08, 2019

No suspension of flights as IAF withdraws order on shutting down Jammu Airport

Jammu: In a much relief to the State Government as well as general commuters, the Indian Air Force has withdrawn its earlier order of shutting down Jammu Airport for all flights for two weeks from October 1.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the order to close down Jammu Airport for resurfacing of its runway has been reviewed on the intervention of Ministry of Defence following request for the same by the J&K Government and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) in view of the prevailing situation in the State and the forthcoming festival season.
Now, there will be no suspension of any commercial flight and the proposed work for resurfacing of the Airport runway shall be carried out during the night hours thus avoiding any inconvenience in smooth operations of the airlines, sources added.
Director of Jammu Airport, Pravat Ranjan Beuria also confirmed that the Indian Air Force has withdrawn its order of closing down the airport for all flights from October 1 to 15 and the same has been conveyed to the airlines, which had earlier stopped booking for these 15 days.
On an average, at least 24 commercial flights of Indian Airlines, Go Air, Vistara, Indigo, Go India and others operate from the Jammu Airport for Delhi, Srinagar, Mumbai, Bathinda, Lucknow and some other cities on daily basis.
Pertinent to mention that the flight operations at Jammu Airport were decided to be suspended for 15 days from October 1 for carrying out resurfacing and strengthening of the existing runway for heavy flights. Decision in this regard was taken by the Indian Air Force, the owner and operator of Jammu Airport, and the same was conveyed to Airport Authority of India two months back, after which all the aviation companies were directed to stop booking of flights for October 1-15.
Following this, the State Government authorities in consultation with the Indian Air Force, were exploring the options of operating some aircraft from Udhampur or Pathankot as alternate arrangements to deal with VVIP and emergency visits during the period of resurfacing of the runway. However, no alternate option was found suitable, particularly in view of the prevailing situation in J&K following withdrawal of provisions of Article 370 and also usual rush of passengers during the forthcoming festival season, sources explained.
07/09/19 Nishikant Khajuria/Daily Excelsior
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