Amid spurt in number of flights airport tarmac peels off
IMPHAL, 28th Oct: Though the number of daily flights to and from Imphal International Airport has increased in recent times the facility continues to face several shortcomings with the latest incident of portions of the tarmac falling apart adding to dilemma of the airport authority.
According to a source, earlier there were 13 daily flights from Imphal International Airport but now airline company Indigo has added one more flight from the airport, thus increasing the total daily flights to 14. Since becoming an international airport, various construction works have been carried out at Imphal Airport. But still there are places where quality have not been maintained especially in the maintenance of the runway.
Recently, pilots refused to fly from Taxiway Bravo Runway after the recurve painting (Runway Markings) on tarmac the said runway peeled off on October 27. On receipt of information about the damage, airport authorities swung into action and initiated repairing of the markings on the same evening and managed to salvage the situation by the wee hours of Sunday. Contract for the said tarmac was sanctioned in 2017.
It is informed that the drainage system of the airport is not up to the mark with frequent flooding and waterlogging of the runway during rainfall causing additional problems to take-off and landing of planes.
The source further stated that the security personnel deployed at the e airport are having problems as well in maintaining the security of the airport as workers have to undertake repair or construction activities at odd hours. Any construction work taken up at the airport needs to follow certain procedures. The work should also be done under the supervision of a civil engineer of Airport Authority.
But most of the time, the workers talk to the Airport Authority via phone and do the work unsupervised, breaking all the protocols of the CISF stationed at the airport for its security, the source maintained. CISF is responsible for the security of Imphal Airport, so any defiance of CISF protocols pose security risks to the airport.
On top of this, there is conflict in area of operation with an army camp located inside the airport campus. The area of Imphal Airport secured by the CISF has high security walls with proper deployment of forces. In contrast, the area covered by the army has no fencing walls thus providing an opportunity to intruders to invade into the runway. As CISF cannot operate within the army camp, this has raised a problem over the area of operation, the source added.