The defence secretary has asked the concerned officials to constitute a joint committee comprising representatives from the Air Force, MES and AAI to work out a feasible and mutually acceptable plan to avoid the complete closure of Jammu airport for runway resurfacing work.
The decision was taken during a meeting that was held under the chairmanship of the defence secretary on 18 February in New Delhi to discuss the closure of Jammu airport for resurfacing works on the runway.
As per the minutes of the meeting, it was decided that a joint committee comprising representatives from Air Force, MES and AAl will work on a feasible and mutually acceptable plan, which could avoid the complete closure of the airport to the extent possible.
The committee has been asked to submit its recommendations within a week.
The meeting was attended by Dr Ajay Kumar, Defence Secretary, Air Marshal HS Arora, Air Marshal VPS Rana, Lt Gen Harpal Singh, Satish Singh, AVM SK Jha, M.P. Gupta, IN Murthy, Anil Garg and Narendra Singh, deputy secretary MoCA.
The meeting, chaired by the defence secretary, was informed about the technical aspects of the works that are to be carried out through a presentation. “It was stated that carrying out the works as proposed by the administration of UT of J&K/ MoCA may have a bearing on the quality and life of pavement due to technicalities involved.”
As per the minutes, it was also brought out that work was needed to be done during the daytime. Representatives from AAI stated they had carried out similar runway resurfacing works in different work-spells as well as during night time at various locations including the northeast and there have been no complaints.
Defence Secretary stated that complete closure of the airport will cause not only inconvenience to the common public but also a disruption in the efforts towards the sustained connectivity of J-K with the rest of India. “Hence, all available options need to be explored.”
Meanwhile, during the meeting JS (Air), DMA suggested that the work could be deferred by some duration to reap the benefits of longer daylight hours and higher temperatures. “Compressing operational hours for fight clearances at the airport by AAI also emerged as one of the options that could be explored.”—(KNO)