Bangalore airport finalises schedule for phased closure from March 11.
From March 11 to May 4 flying into and out of Bangalore, the busiest airport in South India, could be a tedious process.
The airline watchdog has approved a three-phased closure of the airport beginning March 11. “There was no other way. We have tried to minimise the difficulties to passengers. The period of closure has been shortened. We have also asked the airport operator to give a report on why the runway developed cracks so soon after it became operational,” the Director-General of Civil Aviation, Mr E.K. Bharatbhushan, told Business Line.
Sources indicated that not catering to the problem at hand could have disastrous consequences including a crash.
In a press statement, BIAL said that to ensure the airport is in the best operational condition at all times, it has decided to “go ahead with the maintenance work with immediate effect, so as to complete the activity before the onset of monsoons in May”. It added that the decision was arrived at in consultation with all key stakeholders including domestic and international airlines, Air Traffic Control, AAI and the DGCA.
The maintenance will be carried out in a phased manner involving, in certain parts, closure of the runway, and in other parts, partial closure of facilities with minimal impact on airport operations. “The closure will be applicable between 10.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. from March 11 to April 3, 2012. The scope of work not requiring runway closure will be taken up subsequently,” it said.
Airline industry sources maintain that Bangalore will have a three-phased restriction of operations which will extend from March 11 to May 4 — a period of about 55 days. This is the third time that the airport operator is working on dates for the airport closure. Earlier, in a consultation paper it had proposed a 58-day closure beginning March 5.
Between April 4 and May 1, there will be no operations between 10 a.m. and 10.30 a.m., while there would be restricted operations between 10.30 a.m. and 17.30 hours, sources said.
The BIAL release also said that all efforts are in place, in coordination with the Air Traffic Control, to enhance the flight handling capacity in the hours preceding and following the closure each day between March 11 and April 3, so as to allow airlines optimum usage of the available time.
Courtesy - The Hindu