Air India Tuesday informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that Chandigarh-Bangkok flight, which was suspended in July for Haj, was likely to be resumed by October 1.
During a resumed hearing of a case on ongoing works at Chandigarh International Airport Tuesday, the HC directed the Air India to apprise it of the resumption of Chandigarh-Bangkok flight, which had been suspended in July as the aircraft was put to use for transport of Haj pilgrims. The airline has also been asked to apprise the court of a proposed Singapore flight.
Assistant Solicitor General of India Chetan Mittal informed the court that passengers had made bookings in Chandigarh-Bangkok flights till December, but the airline had withdrawn the service without any intimation. Observing that Haj pilgrimage is already over, the division bench of Chief Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Arun Palli asked the counsel, representing the airline, that why the service to Bangkok has not been restored yet.
When the counsel, representing the airline, orally informed the court that the flight to Bangkok is likely to be resumed by October 1, the division bench asked the airline to submit it in an affidavit on September 25, the next date of hearing in the case. Mittal also told the court that the airline had been provided a slot of its choice for the flight and the service has also been profitable for it.
‘Increase in watch hours after March 31’
In a status report on a recently-held meeting among various stakeholders of the airport, the division bench was informed that the Indian Air Force is ready for 24×7 watch hour timing, but it would be possible only after March 2019. “The present watch hours cannot be extended till the fitment of runway edged lights, runway beginning and end lights together with PAPI (Precision approach path indicator),” the court was informed.
The Modernisation of Airfield Infrastructure (MAFI) project which includes installation and integration of CAT II Instrument Landing System (ILS), CAT II Air Field Lighting System and other infrastructure is also likely to be completed by March 31, the court was informed. The division bench also observed that TATA SED, which is handling the work under the MAFI project, can also be made a party in the case before the High Court and asked it to speed up the work. The CAT-II infrastructure will allow the flights to continue uninterrupted operations during foggy weather conditions, the court was told.
Some of the important works on the runway are also to be completed by December 31, which will help in facilitating more passengers in aircrafts and lead to increase in landing distance, the court was informed in the status report. Meanwhile, the division bench was informed that that a patch of perimeter fencing wall of Indian Air Force needs to be relocated and 0.6 acre of land falling in Chandigarh needs to be acquired from the owners. The work is necessary for ILS CAT-IIIB installation, for which modalities are yet to be worked out, the court was informed.
Regarding a parallel taxi track at the airport, the division bench was informed that exact modalities are yet to be worked out, but design has been in principle approved by the Airport Authority of India.