"The move appears to be a paradox as the Navy had agreed to open the Visakhapatnam Airport 24/7 from January 1," according to ATA (I) president D. Varada Reddy.

The Air Travellers Association of India ATA (I) has flayed the decision of the Navy to close the ILS (Instrument Landing System) facility at the airport from 6 p.m. every day from January 1 to 15.

“The move appears to be a paradox as the Navy had agreed to open the Visakhapatnam Airport 24/7 from January 1,” according to ATA (I) president D. Varada Reddy. On the pretext of maintenance to the ‘non-operational’ shorter runway 28, the Navy’s decision to close operations from 6 p.m. would not only cause inconvenience to the public but also cause hardship to airline operators, who were operating beyond 6 p.m.

Maintenance adjustment

The services of Spice Jet, Jet Airways and the direct flight to Singapore being operated by Silk Air would be badly affected. They would be forced to reschedule their operations causing hardship to travellers headed to foreign countries.

The ATA (I) president noted that there was no need to impose restrictions on the main runway, where the switching off of the ILS was planned. Bigger aircraft like Boeing 737-800/900 series, Airbus 320 and 321 would not be in a position to land without ILS. He suggested that INS Dega could take up the maintenance work like at other airports during morning and afternoon hours, when there were no aircraft operations.

As there are no operations between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. at Visakhapatnam Airport, the maintenance could be carried out during these hours.

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