Srinagar, Feb 20: A meeting chaired by Defence Secretary has decided to work out a feasible and mutually acceptable plan which could avoid complete closure of the Jammu airport to the extent possible, officials said on Saturday.
They said the meeting was chaired by the Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar at 04:30 pm February 18 in New Delhi and the discussion revolved around the closure of Jammu airport for runway resurfacing work.
As soon as the meeting started, Satish Singh, JS (BR/Trg/Cer), MoD explained the background of the issue. Thereafter representatives from military engineering explained the technical aspects of the works that are to be carried out.
The meeting, the sources said, was informed that carrying out the works as proposed by the J&K administration and Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) may have a bearing on the quality and life of pavement due to technicalities involved. It was also brought out that work was needed to be done during daytime.
The representatives from Airport Authority of India 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 rest of India. “Hence, all available options need to be explored,” the AAI representatives said.
Representative of Department of Military Affairs, Ministry of Defence, 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 flight clearances at the airport by AAI also emerged as one of the options that could be explored.
Sources said that after discussions, it was decided that a joint committee comprising representatives from IAF, MES and AAI will work out a feasible and mutually acceptable plan which could avoid complete closure of the airport to the extent possible and submit their recommendations within a week.