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Business News/ News / Kerala story: 5-hour shut down at Thiruvananthapuram airport on April 21. Check date, time, and other details here
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Kerala story: 5-hour shut down at Thiruvananthapuram airport on April 21. Check date, time, and other details here

Flight services to and from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport Limited will be halted for five hours on April 21 for the Painkuni Arattu procession of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.

Kerala news: No flights services on Thiruvananthapuram airport next week. Premium
Kerala news: No flights services on Thiruvananthapuram airport next week.

Kerala news: Flight services at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (TIAL) in Kerala will be suspended for five hours on April 21. The shut down, a biannual feature, is to facilitate the holy 'Painkuni Arattu' procession of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple across the runway, TIAL said. As per TIAL, the flight services would be suspended from 4 pm to 9 pm on April 21.

In a post on X, it also added, “The updated timings of the flights are available with the respective airlines. Our team is committed to ensuring your journey remains seamless at our #GatewayToGoodness."

For decades, the airport has regularly halted its operations and adjusted flight schedules twice a year so as not to disrupt the ancient ceremonial procession of the shrine to pass through the its runway.

History behind the procession

The practice of the temple procession taking that path to reach the Shangumugham beach for the holy bath of the idols began centuries ago. This practice has persisted even after the airport was established in 1932.

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When the airport was built in that location, the Travancore King Sree Chithira Thirunal specified that the facility would be open to the public for 363 days a year, reserving only two days annually for Lord Padmanabha, the titular deity of the royal family, as noted by historians.

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The royal-era ritual has been continuing even after the Adani Group took over management of the airport in 2021. The airport issues a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) twice every year before the runway is closed during the biannual Alpassi festival of the temple, which falls in October-November, and the Painkuni festival in March-April. 

In March, TIAL was recognised as the best airport for arrivals globally by the Airports Council International. Commenting on the achievement, a TIAL spokesperson said, "This adds a feather in the cap for Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, which reflects the airport’s dedication to creating a seamless travel experience for passengers."

(With inputs from PTI)

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Published: 17 Apr 2024, 02:49 PM IST
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