Passengers travelling from Chandigarh International Airport will have to face inconvenience in February next year. Reason- the airport will be shut for two weeks in February for construction work. According to a Times Now report, the international airport will remain closed from February 12 to 26 next year due to runway resurfacing work. In a notice issued by the Chandigarh International Airport Limited on Saturday, Chief Executive Officer Sunil Dutt said that no flight will operate from the airport during the repair work. Dutt informed that all airlines have been told to make required changes in their operations after being informed about the runway repair work. He said that decision has been taken nearly two months in advance so that air travellers can change their plans accordingly. Dutt informed that the repair work is necessary as the current runway is of 9000 feet in length and will be upgraded to 10,400 feet to accommodate wide-bodied aircrafts like Boeing 777, 787 and 747. “The upgraded runway will be a gift for the region as it will allow long-distance flights to Europe, US or Australia”, Dutt added. At present, the airport only caters to middle-body aircraft, which can only fly to nearby destinations. “As per the open skies policy of the Government of India, it will attract several airlines operators to operate flights from Chandigarh to countries beyond 5,000 km, which would not have been possible on the existing runway”, said Dutt.
As per the Chandigarh International Airport Limited (CHIAL), only nearby destinations (within approx 5000 km) is accessible. The expected completion of runway upgrade is slated to be March 2018. Apart from this, Cat-III ILS (Instrument Landing System) required to operate flights in low visibility will be also installed as the airport only has Cat-I ILS (Cat-II compliant). Deepesh Joshi, PRO of Chandigarh International Airport Limited, in a statement, said that the runway resurfacing work by the Indian Air Force will also lead to no operation of civil and military flights from Chandigarh.
The new international airport is actually situated in Mohali (near Chandigarh) and offers both domestic and international flights. In December this year, international flights have been started for Dubai and Sharjah. Flights to Bangkok will begin from December 11, 2017. It has 27 flights in the domestic circuit connecting the city to Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Srinagar, Leh, Jammu and Jaipur. Private airlines do not operate after 4 pm, while the airport remains closed on all Sundays. This arrangement will be reviewed in March.