The work will be carried out in a phased manner and might take almost a year

After nearly a decade, Chennai airport’s main runway will soon be taken up for resurfacing.

According to officials of Airports Authority of India (AAI), though the main runway is closed for maintenance for two hours in the afternoon on Tuesday and Saturday every week, a full-fledged resurfacing had been pending for long.

“We have had discussions with the various departments in this regard. Once the board gives their approval, we will begin work,” he added.

The resurfacing of the 12,000-feet long-runway will be carried out in a phased manner and might take almost a year, the official said.

Even when the resurfacing is being done, the main runway will not be completely shut. There would be an arrangement to alternate the flight operations between the main and secondary runways depending on the resurfacing schedule. “It would take a year because we want to do it in a phased way and ensure flight services are not disrupted,” he added.

Meanwhile, three years after its completion, the secondary runway was finally thrown open for flight operations only in May, with the delay causing a loss of Rs. 198 crore. The secondary runway, the extension of which was a part of the airport modernisation, cost AAI at least Rs. 450 crore.

The runway’s extension that proved to be a costly and delayed affair has drawn attention from aviation experts who repeatedly raised safety concerns over commissioning it.

Though it had to be extended to 3,400 metres, the secondary runway’s length is just around 2,200 metres now.