Monday, November 16, 2020

7-hour airport shutdown daily till January 2021

Flight operations will remain suspended for seven hours between 10.15 am to 5.30 pm at Ranchi airport for the next two months in view of repairs on the runway, airport officials said on Monday.

Birsa Munda International Airport director Vinod Kumar Sharma said, “Re-carpeting of the runway was required to be undertaken for smooth operation of flights at our airport. We began work from today (Monday) after getting all clearances from our headquarters. Hence, we have rescheduled our operation timings by splitting it into two halves. In the  first half, flights will run between 6.45 am to 10.15 am and in the second half from 5.30 pm till 9.15 pm.”

Sharma said the new timings would be in force till January 15, 2021. As per the new schedule, as many as 12 flights of Go Air, Air Asia, Indigo and Vistara would be operated during the first half while about 11 would be operated in the second half.

Ranchi airport has a runway length of around 8,901 feet, at least 2,000 feet short of the regulation length for operating international flights. Hence, despite the inauguration of a new integrated passenger terminal building and renaming it as an international airport in 2013, Ranchi is yet to begin operating flights to international destinations.  

In terms of services, a significant addition was announced on Monday. Ranchi residents will now be able to take direct flights to Chennai without having to halt or layover at other destinations.

According to airport officials, the first flight to Chennai, run by Indigo Airlines, will take off from Ranchi airport on Wednesday, November 18, at 8.45 am and land in the Tamil Nadu capital at 11.15 am. The Indigo flight will first ferry passengers from Chennai to Ranchi. It will take off from Chennai airport at 5.45 am and land in Ranchi at 8.15 am.

“There was a lot of demand for direct flights to Chennai from Ranchi. It was in the pipeline for a long time but we somehow could not start. We will finally start flight services to Chennai from November 18, and it will be a daily service,” said Deputy General Manager (Air Traffic Management) of Birsa Munda Airport, Wilfred Kerketta.

16/11/20 Telegraph

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