No More Large Aircrafts at Patna Airport Starting Aug. 16

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Patna: The stalemate between the state government and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) further escalated on Sunday when the AII officials announced a ban on the landing and takeoff of large aircrafts, including Boeing 737 and Airbus 320, at the Patna Airport beginning August 16 due to unsafe runway condition.

Declaring the runway unsafe after the state government refused to cut or prune over 3000 trees in the airport area, AAI officials said that until the situation was rectified, no large aircraft like Boeing 737 and Airbus 320 would be allowed to land at the Patna's Jaya Prakash Narayan International Airport starting August 16.

The ban comes following recommendations made by the Director General of the Civil Aviation, Patna airport director Arvind Dubey said.

Earlier this year Chief Minister Nitish Kumar refused to cut down trees in the areas adjacent to the existing airport saying he preferred the airport moved to some other location, with Nalanda being one of the few choices, to avoid deforestation near Patna's botanical garden.

The August 16 ban, if carried out, would severely hurt the people of Patna and those living in Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Indore, Ranchi, and Lucknow who increasingly rely on quick connectivity to their home state, airport officials said.

Small aircraft used by Jet Airways flying between Patna and Kolkata would only be able to remain in service if immediate steps were not taken to end this deadlock, they said.

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