The surface of the runway at Goa’s Dabolim international airport is deteriorating and may compromise safe operations and it has been resolved that periodic maintenance should be carried out, the Indian Navy said on Thursday.
“With the current flight schedule, Dabolim airport has reached its declared capacity during peak hours resulting in no or very less time for runway maintenance. As a result, the runway surface condition is deteriorating and may compromise safe operations,” said a statement.
The statement, issued after a meeting of air traffic stakeholders, which includes Airport Authority of India officials and charter flight operators at Indian naval base INS Hansa in south Goa, which houses the military-operated airport, said it was resolved said that runway maintenance operations would be conducted every Saturday for five hours from October this year.
Currently, the runway which is used by domestic, international flight operators, charter and non-scheduled operators from 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 3.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. on weekdays and for 24 hours on weekends.
“Indian Navy operates only 25 hours in a week, while the remaining 143 hours are available for civil operations. The Indian Navy highlighted that all airfields undertake regular maintenance. Absence of such maintenance timeslots may lead to runway deterioration and disruption in flight operations causing unnecessary inconvenience,” the statement also said.
The military operated airport, the state’s only airport facility, currently handles nearly seven million passengers every year, which exceeds its handling capacity of five million passengers.