Wednesday, February 17, 2021

IAF proposes closure of Jammu airport for civilian traffic next month

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has proposed closure of the Jammu airport for civilian traffic for 15 days next month for runway resurfacing work, drawing a strong resentment from the Jammu and Kashmir administration which has sought the defence ministry's intervention into the matter, officials said on Wednesday. Nearly two dozen flights operate to and from the Jammu airport, and in view of the development, all the companies operating their flights in the sector have stopped booking for the period.  

Quoting a communication addressed to the Jammu airport director, the officials said Air Force Station, Jammu wants complete closure of the runway for 15 days towards laying of final two top DAC-II layers on the runway surface from March 6 to 20, which has been approved by Air Headquarters.

The officials said Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary B V R Subrahmanyam lodged his protest with the Civil Aviation Ministry against such a move and requested intervention of the defence ministry into the matter to ensure that the resurfacing is carried out in such a manner that civilian air traffic is not affected during the day time.

"Complete closure of the airport for 15 days would create huge administrative issues for the government of Jammu and Kashmir," Subrahmanyam had written in his letter to Civil Aviation Ministry Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola.

The officials said the chief secretary highlighted that the Jammu airport, being the only civil airport in the division, caters to the requirement of civilian air traffic for the entire province and serves as the only connecting airport for Mata Vaishno Devi shrine.

17/02/21 PTI/Economic Times

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