Bhubaneswar: The partial closure of Biju Patnaik International Airport due to re-carpeting of the existing runway has been postponed by a month, airport authorities on Thursday said.
The runway re-carpeting work will now be taken up from December 1 instead of November 1, Airport Director Suresh Hota informed. He, however, did not give any reason for the postponement of the work.
The re-carpeting work will be taken up from 10 pm to 5.30 am till March 31, 2020 as per the schedule announced earlier. For the next three months, the work will be taken up from 10.30 am to 6 pm. Talking to media earlier, Hota had said flight operations would not be majorly affected.
“The airport should have two runways. Since it is an old one, there is only one runway. An airport runway has to be re-carpeted in every 10 years and therefore, the Directorate General Civil Aviation (DDCA) has directed re-carpeting of the runway of this airport at a cost of Rs 28 crore,” he had said.
Bhubaneswar Airport handles over 60 flights every day and is categorised among the top 10 major airports in the country with an annual passenger traffic of over 4 million.
Country’s busiest airport too will remain partially closed:
But Biju Patnaik Airport will not be the only one to remain partially closed during the winter schedule. The main runway of the country’s busiest airport — Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai will also remain closed from November 4 to March 31, 2020 due to re-carpeting and rehabilitation work.
The GVK Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) on Thursday issued a statement saying that runway no. 9/27 will remain closed on all the days except Sunday from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm.
Various airlines are already bracing for major peak hour disruption and diversion. This could also affect the schedule of some flights operating between Bhubaneswar and Mumbai. The airlines will be shifted to the secondary runway, which can handle only about 36 flights a day. The airport handles about 960 flights a day and roughly 46 flights per hour.