Flights normal at Bangalore airport, but sanitation hit

March 12th, 2008 - 8:13 pm ICT by admin  


Bangalore, March 12 (IANS) Flight operations at the Bangalore airport were normal Wednesday, but sanitation in the premises was affected as the Airports Authority of India (AAI) employees struck work from midnight, protesting the closure of existing airports to make way for new ones. In 12 hours from 5.30 a.m., over 200 international and domestic flights took off and landed, air traffic control at Bangalore airport said.

“Hundred percent normal. All flights have been taking off and landing as per schedule,” AAI general manager at Bangalore B.R. Sena told IANS.

The police said the situation in and around the airport was peaceful, though small groups of striking employees demonstrated through the day, shouting slogans against the closure of the two airports at Bangalore and Hyderabad.

“Cleaning of toilets and other areas in the airport is hit,” an airport police spokesperson said.

Bangalore is one of the two focal points of the dispute over which members of the AAI Employees’ Union have gone on a de facto countrywide strike from Tuesday midnight.

The strike would not affect flights here as the “air traffic control (ATC) operations are manned by the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) staff and the ground support services are handled by various airlines”, Sena said.

“When our employees go on strike, officers will step in and look after the administrative matters at the airport, including coordination with security, customs and immigration wings,” he added.

Of the 180 AAI employees at the city airport, 120 are staff and 60 are officers.

The country’s third busiest airport after Mumbai and Delhi, the HAL airport handles about 300 flight movements a day, with 20-25 flights in 60 minutes during peak hours.

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