Indira Gandhi International Airport’s runway 10/28 would be closed from April 2 for Delhi International Airport Limited to carry out extensive rehabilitation work.

Civil Aviation Secretary M. Madhavan Nambiar on Wednesday reviewed the preparedness of DIAL to handle traffic at IGI Airport during closure of the runway.

While the Civil Aviation Ministry gave its consent for closure of the runway for the period required for its maintenance and repair, DIAL was asked to ensure that only the optimum construction period should be utilised and all possible efforts should be made to speed up the process and compress the closure time to the minimum possible, keeping in mind the risk mitigation so that there was minimum inconvenience.

The Ministry has asked the Airports Authority of India to ensure promulgation of procedures for air traffic control and minimum reduction of capacity. They have further been asked to keep in readiness a contingency plan in case of disruption of work at either of the runway 27 and 29 during this period. The Civil Aviation Ministry would also review operations during this period frequently.

In a statement, DIAL said the rehabilitation works on runway 10/28 would result in upgrading of the runway surface quality and support systems such as the runway lighting equipment and thus ensure improved reliability and availability of the runway for operations.

The works have been scheduled considering the fog season has come to a close. Each runway has a service life which depends on its design and construction material. Generally, resurfacing of runways is required every seven to 10 years depending on traffic density. The last resurfacing of runway 10/28 was done in 1999. Due to increase in traffic and heavier aircraft, the runway surface had got distressed and required rehabilitation. The Directorate General Civil Aviation had carried out an inspection of the runway and had concluded that the runway was a need of major repair works.

The IGI Airport has three runways- while11/29 was commissioned in August 2008, runway 09/27 was rehabilitated and upgraded in late 2009.During the closure of runway 10/28, air traffic movement would be managed by simultaneous use of runways 11/29 and 09/27 in a manner that both the runways would be optimally used.

DIAL would be working closely with all stakeholders such as Air Traffic Control, Airlines, AAI and DGCA among others to minimise the effect of the modernisation works on traffic. The rehabilitation works would be carried out in a phased manner and would ensure that connectivity between the domestic and international aprons and the two operational runways would be available at all times.

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