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No proposal for Amravati airport: Praful Patel
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | December 10, 2007 19:24 IST
Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said there was no proposal before the government for setting up a new airport at Amravati.
"I have read the news report about the setting up of a new airport at Amravati in the home district of President Pratibha Patil [Images]. Let me tell you that there is no such proposal before the ministry and when it comes to us we will study it," he told newspersons at a press conference in New Delhi on Monday evening.
According to a news report in Maharashtra the state government has been considering to set up a new airport at Amravati with an estimated cost of Rs 400 crore.
The minister also clarified that the second runway in Delhi would come up by April 2008 while the one in Mumbai would be operational by 2010.
Patel expressed his displeasure over the manner in which mediapersons singled out the national career to highlight the problems of the passengers, while they did not mention a word about the problems faced by those who travel by private airlines. "This is highly unfair," he said.
He took objection to the manner in which the problems faced by the passengers during the winter season are blown out of proportion.
"For instance, fog is a natural phenomenon and it is there one moment and next moment it disappears. Generally we have fog around 6 in the morning, but by 7 am it disappears. Now if the fog is there for 15 minutes to half an hour, then we cannot keep cancelling the flights. I know of airports like London [Images] airport, which are closed for days together because of fog and adverse weather conditions but nobody says anything there," he said.
M Ramalingam, director general of Airports Authority of India denied there was any radar failure on Sunday, which had led to disruption of air-traffic in Delhi.
"We checked and found out that the radar was working and it was only the ATC control tower which could not communicate with the pilots and it was this breakdown which led to problems," Ramalingam said.
According to Director General Civil Aviation K Gohin, the numbr of pilots who can fly under low visibility conditions in private airlines is not very high.
"We will have to see if they cancel some of their flights during the winter and if they do, then we will have to have a fresh look at the flight roster," he said.