Panaji, Apr 2: Goa's lone airport is heading for an annual maintenance closure for three days during the day time from Apr 5 onwards, forcing airline companies to reschedule their flights for this coastal destination.
The Indian Navy, which maintains the airstrip, has announced that the airport will be closed for all civil and military flying between 7 am and 4 pm from Apr 5-8. Navy's public relation officer Commander Prashant Mathur said the flights are being rescheduled and necessary measures are taken to avoid inconvenience to the passengers.
The Airport Authority of India (AAI) spokesman said that every day 25-35 flights will have to be rescheduled owing to the suspension of the airstrip during the day time. The AAI has not received any intimation of cancellations from the domestic or international flights. The chartered flights, the spokesman said, were not scheduled to be operating during these closure days.
Goa airport has maximum traffic early in the morning following which the airstrip is opened for military operations. The civil flights arrive back in the afternoon from 1 pm onwards. "The slot between 1 pm to 4 pm will be affected due to closure," AAI spokesman said.
Indian navy has said that high density traffic especially of the wide bodied aircrafts during tourist season and military operations requires preventive periodic maintenance of the runway. "The planned repairs would go a long way forward towards safe and efficient operations especially during monsoons," the naval spokesman said.