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Thursday, May 06, 2021

Runway resurfacing: Pune airport closure for two weeks deferred

It’s not clear if the issue of vaccination transport played any part in the decision to postpone the airport closure

By: Express News Service | Pune |
April 15, 2021 12:57:08 pm
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The 14-day closure of Pune Airport for runway resurfacing work announced earlier will not happen in April-May this year, officials with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) said. The Indian Air Force had earlier announced that it will be undertaking the runway resurfacing work between April 26 and May 9 due to which all the flight operations will remain suspended during the two-week period.

Pune Airport is a civil enclave operating from the IAF station of Lohegaon, the primary function of which is to train IAF pilots by undertaking sortie operations. Although Pune is in the process of developing its own international airport in Purandar, the issues pertaining to the land acquisition have delayed the commencement of work.

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“The scheduled closure of flights will not happen between April 26 and May 9,” an AAI official said. “IAF has conveyed to us that the runway resurfacing work will be carried out a later date,” added the official.

The resurfacing work started in October 2020 had already limited the civil operations only to the daytime. The airport remains shut for flights between 8 pm to 8 am.

The closure – if it was to be undertaken – would have affected the transport of vaccines within the country. Most of the domestic transport – from Pune to other states – happens via Pune Airport while the international dispatch is undertaken from Mumbai Airport. It’s not clear if the issue of vaccination transport played any part in the decision to postpone the airport closure.

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