VISAKHAPATNAM: Night flight services at the Visakhapatnam International Airport will be suspended for four months starting November 15 as resurfacing works will be undertaken at the runway. A trial run was conducted at the airport over the weekend.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, airport director S Raja Reddy said the resurfacing works will begin as per schedule from Wednesday. “The airport will be shut from 9 pm to 8 am for the mandatory works that have been overdue in Visakhapatnam,” he explained.
Stating that operations of three flights from Vizag to Bengaluru, Delhi and Hyderabad respectively would be cancelled, he said, “When authorities of the INS Dega had first announced the decision, there were apprehensions that as many as 12 services may be affected as the airport will be closed for 11 hours. However, much to the relief of passengers, only three services have been cancelled and other services, including the flight to Pune, were rescheduled.”
Scoot Airlines’ flight from Vizag to Singapore has also been advanced. As per the revised timing, TRS80 from Singapore will arrive Vizag at 7 pm and TRS81 will leave at 8 pm for four days a week.In July, the Commanding Officer of INS Dega had informed the director of Visakhapatnam airport that operations at the main runway would be affected as resurfacing works would be taken up from November 2023 to March 2024.
Subsequently, BJP MP GVL Narasimha Rao met Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence secretary Giridhar, and requested that the closure timings be reduced to ensure operation of regular flights.
He even met Eastern Naval Command FOC-in-C Vice Admiral Rajesh Pendharkar, who expressed that closing the airport in the night was essential. He explained that reducing the closure time was neither feasible nor advisable keeping in mind the passengers’ safety. He also said there were time slots available for more flights to operate during the day and that the ENC was prepared to deploy additional manpower in the Air Traffic Control (ATC) to increase number of flights during the day.