2 min read.Updated: 17 Sep 2021, 05:59 AM ISTRhik Kundu
The group has asked the aviation regulator to shorten time frame for partial shutting of ops
Work will focus on runway overlaying, runway strip grading and runway end safety area
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NEW DELHI :
Adani Group has asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to shorten the time frame for partial shutting of operations at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport at Ahmedabad for the first major maintenance work to be undertaken after the group took over the airport.
It has sought permission from the aviation regulator to change the closure dates from the current November 2021 to May 2022 to January-May 2022, in view of an expected revival in passenger traffic during this year’s festive season.
“The runway maintenance and closure were initially proposed from 10 November 2021 to 31 May 2022, however, owing to the onset of the festive season and feedback from the industry fraternity, we are evaluating the condition and reducing the closure period to make the airport available for passengers," Adani Group said in a statement on Thursday.
“Accordingly, we have applied to DGCA for revised schedule starting from 3 January 2022 till May 2022 from 9 am to 6 pm except on public holidays and Sundays. This is to ensure reduced passenger inconvenience and a seamless service experience during this period."
On 15 September, a notice to airmen (NOTAM) was issued saying that the Ahmedabad airport will be closed for up to nine hours daily between 3.30 am and 12.30 pm, barring Sunday and national holidays, from 10 November. During the closure, the airport’s only runway will not be available for landing and take-off operations as the company will carry out rehabilitation work, the NOTAM said.
NOTAMs are distributed through telecommunication containing information concerning the establishment, condition or change in any aeronautical facility, service, procedure or hazard. The information is essential for personnel handling flight operations. Notam is issued by Airports Authority of India. A copy of the Notam was reviewed by Mint.
“The work will focus on runway overlaying, runway strip grading and slope assessment, runway end safety area (RESA) grading and slope assessment, along with stormwater drain construction and reinstallation of signages on maneuvering area," Adani Group said in the statement.
An airline official with direct knowledge of the matter said while airlines were informed about the Notam on 15 September, a day later they were informed that the closure of the Ahmedabad airport could be postponed to January period of next year as this is slated to impact traffic during the festive season.
“Airline operations would have been definitely impacted when the airport is closed nine hours daily for a long period of time and especially during the festive period," the official said. “This would lead to huge losses for airlines as well as the airport," the official added.
As things stand, the Ahmedabad airport is currently closed every Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm for runway repairs, till October.
Ahmedabad is one of the busiest non-metropolitan airports in the country, connecting several international and domestic destinations.
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