Aizawl: The Mizoram government is taking effort to revamp the lone Lengpui Airport in Aizawl after study shows that many airlines refused to operate from Mizoram due to inadequate strength of the runway, an official said.
Principal consultant for civil aviation, Wing Commander Joe Lalhmingliana, told EastMojo that the existing strength of Lengpui airport when inaugurated was only 36 Pavement Classification Number (PCN).
The pavement classification number (PCN) is an International Civil Aviation Organisation standard used in combination with the aircraft classification (ACN) to indicate the strength of a runway, taxiway or airport apron.
He said that the runway strength was not sufficient for some airlines to ferry full load on airbus 320, which usually need at least 40 PCN. He added that the state government is taking effort to resurface and improve the runway strength from the existing 36 to 50 PCN.
Lalhmingliana also said that the state government has south additional flight service from Air India and also talks are in progress with other airlines like Indigo to start flight service from Aizawl to northeastern capitals like Guwahati, Shillong, Imphal and Agartala, besides Delhi.
He said that officials of Indigo would visit Mizoram in March this year to discuss the matter. He also expressed hope that Indigo will start flight service from Mizoram shortly.
Chief minister Zoramthanga had last week alleged that many airlines were reluctant to operate from Mizoram due to poor condition of runway of the lone Lengpui airport. He said that passenger flights did not dare to carry full load and often have to ferry only 80% of their capacity due to weakness of the runway.
The CM said that he had instructed the state PWD to work on resurfacing of the runway. He said that about Rs 24 crore will be required for repairing (resurfacing) the runway, of which Rs 11 crore has already been with the concerned department.
He added that the state government will sanction the remaining Rs 13 crore to ensure that repairing work is completed at the earliest.
After the withdrawal of flight service by Jet Airways, Mizoram has now direct airlink with Kolkata, which is being operated by Air India. Union civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu had earlier promised the Mizoram government to extend all possible helps to restore the state’s air link.
The minister also said that Indigo would soon launch operation from Aizawl to Argatala.