IAF personnel chip in for Amritsar’s international flights

March 12th, 2008 - 10:40 am ICT by admin  

Amritsar/Chandigarh, March 12 (IANS) Indian Air Force personnel were put on duty Wednesday at the Rajasansi International Airport in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar to ensure smooth operation of international flights in view of the strike called by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) employees’ union. “The operations are completely smooth. Air force personnel are on duty at the airport. International flights from here have not been affected,” Amritsar’s airport director Arun Talwar told IANS.

The IAF had requisitioned its personnel and officers trained in airport management from various airfields in Punjab. An IAF aircraft picked up personnel from Chandigarh and air force bases at Adampur, Halwara, Pathankot and Jammu to take them to Amritsar.

The Rajasansi airport deals with almost 15 flights every day, most of them linking international destinations. A large number of non-resident Indians (NRIs) from Punjab prefer to land and depart from this airport.

The AAI employees’ union had given a call for an all-India strike at 127 AAI-managed airports across the country. Their talks with the civil aviation ministry had failed Tuesday.

The main demand of the AAI unions is that the existing airports at Bangalore and Hyderabad should not be shut down after the new Greenfield airports start functioning there in the next few weeks.

In Chandigarh, airport controller Sunil Dutt said flights were not expected to be affected as requisite backup plans had been drawn.

The civil airport at Chandigarh is primarily under the IAF and deals with only domestic traffic operating only during daytime.

“We have organized everything and do not expect much trouble. The flights from and other cities are expected to arrive late but we will ensure that flights from here take off on time,” Dutt said.

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