BHUBANESWAR: With Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) deciding to go for re-carpeting its entire runway, flights services are set to be rescheduled for eight months which could have a bearing on air connectivity to the State.
The airport, which has been handling 44 flights a day now, took the decision as the present runway has undergone wear and tear. It was last re-carpeted in 2007. The BPIA has sought permission from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for the purpose.
Once approved by DGCA, flights at BPIA will be suspended between 10 pm and 5.30 am from November 1 to March 31 in the first phase and between 10 am and 6 pm from April 1 to June 30 in the second phase.
“We felt the need for re-carpeting the 2,742-metre-long runway as it has been requiring maintenance for the last two years. Airports Authority of India (AAI) has approved our proposal but we are yet to receive permission from DGCA,” BPIA Director Suresh Chandra Hota said.
He said initially they wanted to carry out the entire enhancement work during night time. Since it was found to be not feasible, BPIA decided to carry out the second phase of re-carpeting in the day time. BPIA officials said the AAI has apprised the airlines of the proposed re-carpeting work and sought to reschedule of their flights from the winter season starting October 28.
Around four flights will be rescheduled during the first phase of re-carpeting. “Not many flights operate between 10 pm and 5.30 am though the airport remains busy during morning and evening hours. Once the second phase of the re-carpeting work commences, we will request airlines to reschedule their flights before 10 am and after 6 pm,” Hota said.
Stating that the number of flights will not be affected during the 8-month period, he said the project will be carried out at an estimated cost of `28 crore. Besides re-carpeting the runways, the existing taxi tracks will be merged with the track being laid parallel to the runway during the same period.
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