Patna,(BiharTimes): Stating that it does not want to close the Patna airport, the Airports Authority of India’s (AAI) regional executive director of eastern region, Manohar Lal Lehkra, said that he would like to make it clear that the AAI does not want to cut any tree at Patna zoo. It just wanted some of the trees pruned as they pose obstructions in the aircraft approach funnel.
On shifting of airport to Nalanda, Lehkra said there is no issue in making an airport 100km from Patna. People come to Patna airport from far-flung places in the state. Distance should not be an obstacle in the construction of an airport.
The AAI, however, kept options open for reducing the length of its runways because of obstructions such as trees.
He was quoted in the media as saying that the AAI had already communicated the matter to the state government.
Lehkra, who was in Patna on Tuesday, discussed various aspects in this regard in a meeting with officials of the state environment and forest department and a senior official of eastern regional office of ministry of environment and forest, Bhubaneswar.
He ruled out the possibility of closing the Patna airport. Despite the obstacles, aircraft such as Airbus 320 are operating from here. Therefore, even if the runway length is reduced, the airport would be capable of commercial operations.
It needs to be recallea that the licence of Patna airport had expired on June 30 and the director-general of civil aviation (DGCA) has not renewed the operating licence of the airport yet.
He said a decision regarding the renewal of the licence of the Patna airport can only be taken after the issues related to pruning of trees at Patna zoo are sorted out.
He also assured that there were plans to improve facilities for passengers in the next three to four months.