New Delhi: Fliers at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here are likely face tough time from next week as private operator DIAL has decided to temporarily shut the main runway for maintenance work.
Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) is set to undertake some necessary and preventive repair works on Runway 10/28, starting April 5, a statement said on Friday.
DIAL is a joint venture between national airports operator AAI and GMR Group-led consortium, with each partner holding 26 and 74 percent stake, respectively.
Once the repair works of runway 10/28 is completed and it becomes operational, the airside efficiency of IGI Airport will further improve, the operator said.
The preventive repair exercise is expected to be completed within seven days, it said adding during the closure period, the two other runways - runways 09/27 and 11/29 -- will be fully available on a 24X7 basis to handle the traffic.
These two runways would be sufficient to take care of the current need of air traffic movement, according to the statement.
Sources, however, said the week-long repair work, will adversely impact the flight operations at Delhi airport which handles close to 970 flights per day this includes general aviation, cargo, national and international flights.
"Runway 10/28 handles approximately 45-odd flights per hour or on an average over 500 flights per day. So, with this runway completely shut for operations, delays are bound to happen," a source in ATC said.
Periodic repair work is crucial to ensure the lifespan of the runway, DIAL said.
In close collaboration with the stakeholders, DGCA, ATC and the airlines, it was decided to carry out the work in one stretch over a period of seven days instead of a piecemeal approach over a few months, it added.
According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines, the lifespan of a typical runway pavement worldwide is some 20 years, but the airport operators must carry out necessary repair works once in every 5-6 years in a bid to eradicate any early sign of runway pavement distress or cracks.
These global guidelines recommend that the pavement engineer must assess and repair the runway regularly in a time bound and a scientific manner, DIAL said.