At the end of the receipt for planning a Pune airport was closed for 14 days Ahead of the festive period, the Indian Air Force has made it clear that “a complete shutdown of 14 days is inevitable”. In a statement, AIF had informed the aviation authorities and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in advance of the temporary dates for the closure, but the exact time could be finalized only after obtaining the approval of the Union Ministry of Defense. And the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare.
The AIF also said it would ensure airlift of vaccines from Pune to Mumbai airport by installing its machines to ensure a seamless supply chain of vaccines during the closed period.
“There is an urgent need to rehabilitate the Pune runway at the Air Force Base to address the rapid deteriorating condition of the runway and associated operating surfaces, with the aim of preventing any damage to the engines of the aircraft being operated,” the IAF report said.
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Although the IAF had earlier planned to close in April-May 2021, it was postponed after asking the MOT to prevent disruption in vaccine distribution as two important vaccine production units are based in Pune.
From October 26, 2020 to October 2021, the runway in Pune was partially closed for 12 hours daily at night, causing minimal disruption to civil aviation for a period of one year. A complete closure of 14 days is planned from 26 April 2021 to 09 May 2021 to carry out the rehabilitation of the central bitumen section of the runway. However, due to an urgent need to carry the Covit-19 vaccine, the Ministry of Defense has ordered a complete closure of the runway, ”it said.
The IAF said the airport would reopen on October 30, a few days before Diwali.
“Temporary time for closure has been notified in advance to CHQ by all airlines, the Director of Local Airports and the Airports Authority of India. The flights will resume from October 30, 2021, before the Deepavali festival, ”it said.
“During the period when the runway is completely closed, the IAF will ensure the airlift of vaccines from Pune to Mumbai using appropriate IAF assets to ensure a seamless supply chain,” the statement said.