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Srinagar airport to shut down for 12 days

Last Updated: Sunday, August 29, 2010 - 12:46

Srinagar: The Srinagar international airport will remain closed September 1-12 due to runway repairs and no airlines would operate their flights to and from the airport during this period, airport sources said.

The repairs to the runway are being carried out by the Indian Air Force.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had told a local newspaper a few days back that he would take up the issue with the authorities concerned and see that the airport does not shut for such a long time.

Abdullah, however, on Saturday confirmed that the airport would remain closed for 12 days.

In the past, whenever the Srinagar airport has closed down its operations, passenger flights were operated from the south Kashmir Awantipora Air Base of the Indian Air Force.

"Officials of private airlines have made it clear that they won’t operate from the Awantipora Air Base, which is 25 kms away from here," the station manager of one of the private airlines said here.

"Recently officials of all the private airlines met in Srinagar and decided that they won’t be operating from the Awantipora Air Base as it lacks basic facilities like the terminal building and the baggage checking system," he added.

Awantipora Air Base is in south Kashmir Pulwama district.

The state government had reportedly asked the union defence ministry to reconsider the decision to close down the airport for 12 days at a stretch.

However, the ministry had made it clear that the repairs were inevitable and had to be carried out before the winter sets in, sources here said.


First Published: Sunday, August 29, 2010 - 12:46

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