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Posted at: Apr 11, 2019, 7:34 AM; last updated: Apr 11, 2019, 7:34 AM (IST)

24x7 cheer for city airport

Last plane of the day arrives from Delhi at 8.30 pm; number of flights up
24x7 cheer for city airport

Akash Ghai &Kaveesha Kohli

Tribune News Service

Mohali, April 10

In a big leap after getting the international airport tag four years ago, the airport became operational 24x7 from today.

This led to an increase in the number of flights from 27 to 34 at the airport today.

Deepesh Joshi, a spokesperson for the airport, said the number of flights would touch the 50 mark within two months.

He said the first flight arrived at 6.30 am today, while the arrival timing of the last flight was 8.30 pm. “Earlier, the flight operations were between 7.30 am and 6.30 pm. Today, the first flight from Delhi arrived here at 6.30 am, while the last flight arrived from Delhi at 8.30 pm,” said Joshi. 

From April 30, the last flight will start coming from Bengaluru at 11.35 pm.

Now onwards, the Air Traffic Control (ATC) would remain functional 24x7, said Joshi. Earlier, the ATC timings were from 5 am to 7 pm. 

The 24X7 operations are expected to bring more international flights to the airport. “Now, late night flight operations are possible here and we are hoping for some more international flights,” said Joshi.

At present, the airport has flights to just two international destinations — Dubai and Sharjah. 

By September or October this year, the airport is set to get the CAT ILS-III system. This will enable flights to land safely even in case of low visibility. 

At present, the visibility requirement is around 1,200 m, but once the system is put in place, it will only be 350 m.

Soon, the airport, which was set up in 1961, will also be able to facilitate wide-bodied aircraft, including Boeing 777, Boeing 787-800 (Dreamliner), B747-400 and Airbus 330. The new airport premises, which got the international status, was inaugurated on September 11, 2015, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

With round-the-clock operations, the airport authorities expect a 30 per cent growth in domestic passengers from the current figure of 22 lakh per annum to nearly 28 lakh. 

Round-the-clock ops a big leap: bizmen

Elated over the start of round-the-clock flight operations, local industrialists termed it a big leap. Yogesh Sagar, president of the Mohali Industries Association, said the 24X7 facility would attract international business companies to set up their corporate or regional headquarters, which would boost the industry. 

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