‘Flights Unlikely To Get Much Affected Due To Partial Shutdown Of Bhubaneswar Airport’
Bhubaneswar: Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA)’s Director Suresh Chandra Hota today informed that the scheduled partial shutdown in the airport in view of the first phase runway maintenance works between November, 2019 and June, 2020 may not affect flight services much in the airport.
“As per the existing timing of the flights, as many as four flights are likely to be rescheduled. However, the flight operations will not be affected much as this is a planned activity and the airlines have been informed about the repair works in advance. The airlines have also been requested to schedule the timing of flights accordingly,” informed Hota.
Further speaking about the re-carpeting work on the airport’s runway, Hota said, “As the airport is fully functional, we cannot carry out the maintenance work continuously. Therefore, we have decided to take up repair work in two phases. An estimate of Rs 28 crores for the same has also been prepared and sent to the Director General Civil Aviation (DGCA) for approval,”
In the first phase i.e. from November 1 to March 31 operations will be suspended from 10 PM to 5.30 AM while the second phase i.e. between April 1 and June 30, operations at the airport will be closed in the daytime from 10. 30 AM to 6 PM, said reports.
Hota further stated, “There should be fundamentally two runways in airports. As the Bhubaneswar Airport was established years back, the airport was not constructed in a planned way. Though there were two runways at the airport, the other one apart from the main runway is very small and therefore, it could not be used in flight operation.”
The BPIA director also informed that even though the land for the establishment of new airport near Bhubaneswar has been identified, as the current airport is yet to reach its saturation capacity, a second airport is not required at present.
On the other hand, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Odisha (HARO) has raised concern over scheduled partial shutdown in the airport. “Tourist season start from October so partial shutdown will be disaster for the State,” said Chairman of HARO, J K Mohanty, said.
Tourism Secretary Vishal Dev said, “Recarpeting is important but we will take a decision so that rescheduling of flights don’t affect anyone.”