New Bangalore Airport opening delayed by more than 2 months

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New Delhi, Mar 13 (UNI) The Government today asked the Bangalore International Airport Pvt. Ltd. (BIAL) to consider a suitable date after May 10 for the opening of new airport at Devanahalli, Bangalore.

More than 14,000 employees of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) are on a 'non-cooperation' strike to protest against the imminent closure of the existing airports at Bangalore and Hyderabad that would make way for opening of greenfield airports there. The striking employees say the closure of existing airports will lead to job cuts.

According to a Civil Aviation Ministry statement, the new Bangalore Airport can not start functioning from March 30 as scheduled, because ATC services will not be available by that date.

''The Ministry has directed BIAL to consider a suitable date after 10th May for the airport opening,'' the statement said.

Earlier, the Ministry had intimated the anticipated date of March 30 to the various Central Government Agencies which are responsible for the performance of Reserved Activities at the airports.

While all agencies had confirmed their readiness, the AAI had reservation about the availability of ATC by March 30.

Delays in the construction of ATC facilities, including the control tower, technical block, office accommodation for AAI personnel and issues such as electricity supply, house-keeping and air-conditioning at the ATC facilities were the reasons for the hold-up, the statement said.

UNI YJ RL RN1926

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