Friday, February 25, 2022

Bagdogra airport to shut in April

Siliguri: The Airports Authority of India has formally notified that flight operations at Bagdogra airport will remain closed from April 11 to 26 for refurbishing works on the sole runway.

The AAI announced the decision to keep the airport closed on its official twitter handle a couple of days ago.

A source said the state government had taken up with the AAI the concerns expressed by the travel industry and trade bodies over the closure during the peak tourism season coinciding with the Bengali new year.

“They have, however, decided to stick to their plan,” said a source.

The Bagdogra airport is a civil enclave, where the runway and the air traffic control are being maintained by the Indian Air Force.

Last month, the IAF had informed the AAI about the closure of the airport for resurfacing work of the final layer of the flexible portion of the runway. Airline companies, which operate flights at Bagdogra, started informing passengers about the closure.

“Passengers who have already bought tickets or have thought of flying from or to Bagdogra during this fortnight should revise their plans. That is why we have circulated the message through different media,” said a representative of an airline company posted in Bagdogra.

A hotel owner in Siliguri said senior state government officials had promised a few days back that they were in touch with the Centre on the matter.

“But so far, there has been no indication from the central government or the authorities concerned that the decision would be changed. The summer tourism season commences from April and closure of the airport would be a fresh setback for the sector that has taken a beating during the past two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

25/02/22 Telegraph

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