AAI stir fails to affect flight operations

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New Delhi, Mar 12 (UNI) An estimated 15,000 employees of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) today went on a non-cooperation strike to protest the proposed closure of Bangalore and Hyderabad airports but flight services remained almost unaffected at all the 127 airports across the country.

However, since the agitators comprised class 3 and 4 employees, the passengers had to bear the brunt in the form of dirty and overflowing toilets, information boards, which show the status of flights giving no information, missing aerobridges and a host of related problems.

Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel assured today Parliament that the interests of the Airport Authority of India employees at Hyderabad and Bangalore Airports would be fully protected and the two airports would continue to remain operational for general aviation, defence purposes and national emergencies.

In his statement, the minister said the two state governments had approached the Centre in 1990s seeking the construction of Greenfield airports at Hyderabad and Bangalore in view of problems posed by traffic growth and the constraints at the existing airports.

The minister's statement comes in the wake of response to series of notices and motions from the members of the both Houses of Parliament seeking the continuation of these two profit making airports and not the monopoly of the two greenfield airports.

The agitation began midningh xxxx EDS: Picking up from para four of DI 38 'AGITATION-AIRPORTS-ROUNDUP'.

UNI TEAM SP BD2049

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