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IAF Proposal To Shut Jammu Airport For 15 Days Sends J-K Govt

(This article is originally posted by the Hindustan Times)

Jammu and Kashmir lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha has spoken to defence minister Rajnath Singh following a proposal by the Indian Air Force to close the Jammu Airport for civilian traffic for 15 days next month for runway resurfacing work, officials privy to the development said.

A letter had come from IAF proposal closure of the airport for civilian traffic for 15 days next month. In this context we are leaving on Thursday for Delhi for a meeting with civil aviation and defence secretaries,” Jammu Airport Director Pravat Ranjan Beuria said Wednesday evening.

A final decision will be taken at Delhi on Thursday, he said.

“No decision has been taken as yet to shut the airport for 15 days next month. The IAF had proposed it and that is why we have taken up the matter with secretary defence, who is the competent authority. The lieutenant governor has also spoken to the defence minister about the issue. By Thursday evening something may come out of it (meeting)”, he said.

Nearly two dozen flights operate to and from the Jammu airport.

Jammu and Kashmir chief secretary B V R Subrahmanyam has also written to the civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola requesting that resurfacing of the runway be done in a phased manner to avoid disruption of civilian traffic.

Subrahmanyam said in his letter that complete closure of the airport for 15 days would create huge administrative issues for Jammu and Kashmir.

“In the eventuality of the closure for 15 days, air traffic would have to be diverted to the nearest civil airport in Punjab, which would result in various logistical issues,” he has said in his letter.

It has been learnt that the civil aviation secretary has taken up the matter with defence secretary Ajay Kumar seeking his intervention into the matter.

Following the IAF’s letter, private airliners have stopped booking for the 15 day period. The runway work is scheduled to begin on March 5 and end on March 20.

Officials said Air Force Station, Jammu wants complete closure of the runway for 15 days towards laying of final two top DAC-II layers on the runway surface from March 6 to 20, which has been approved by Air Headquarters.

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Hindustan Times

YATISH MAHAJAN

I am Yatish Mahajan. Defence aspirant, want to wear stars on shoulders. At present pursuing BE in mechanical engineering.

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