Jammu, : With the Airport Authority of India (AAI) deciding to shut the Jammu airport for at least 15 days from October 1 to resurface the runway, the authorities seem to be in a fix to deal with the situation arising out after suspension of all commercial flights.
On an average, at least 24 commercial flights (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 a daily basis.
If sources are to be believed, the authorities are 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.
Sources said the proposed closure of the Jammu airport had nothing to do with its expansion as the Indian Air Force (IAF) would do resurfacing of the runway.
“The airport will remain closed for all flights for 15 days from October 1. The decision with regard to alternate arrangements is to be taken by the administration. We are in constant touch with them (administration),” Pravat Ranjan Beuria, Airport Director told The Tribune.
The sources in the administration said the Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma was overseeing overall development at the Jammu airport but no alternate arrangements so far had been made to ensure that “visitors and passengers” do not face any difficulty.
“The authorities will take a call on it (alternate arrangements). We are holding discussions with them. We are working on it and have identified two-three places as an alternate arrangement to operate some flights,” Verma responded.
The sources claimed that the Indian Air Force might be requested to make alternate arrangements in case of VVIP visits in Jammu during the period of resurfacing of the runway.
The AAI Jammu had started the expansion of runway up to 8,000 ft from the existing 6,700 ft in July last year. Its deadline was set as March 2020.
On August 16, Deputy Commissioner Sushma Chauhan, in a meeting here, had asked the executing agencies to provide tree-free and structure-free land to the AAI to expedite the expansion project.
Courtesy : The Tribune