Patna, Aug 5 (IANS): Large aircraft such as Airbus 320 and Boeing 737 will not operate from Patna airport from Aug 16 after the runway length was re-notified, officials said Sunday.
A Patna airport official said the runway had become unsafe for the operation of large aircraft after the Airports Authority of India (AII) re-notified the length due to the presence of trees.
"The AAI, on the recommendation of director general of civil aviation, had re-notified the airport's runway length after Bihar government refused to cut or prune trees near it," he said.
According to officials, AAI revised the declared runway distances because of obstruction in the approach funnel.
Patna airport director Arvind Dubey said AAI's decision to re-notify the runway was in the interest of aviation safety.
"The AAI order will be effective at Patna airport from Aug 16," Dubey said.
In May, the civil aviation ministry had threatened to declare the Patna airport unfit for Airbus 320 and Boeing 737 aircraft unless trees near the airport were cut or pruned for aviation safety.
The ministry sent a communication to the Bihar government, giving a deadline of June 15, officials said.
AAI chairman V.P. Agrawal wrote to the Bihar chief secretary making it clear that aviation safety was of paramount importance.
A Patna airport official admitted that pruning and cutting of trees was vital for the safe landing and takeoff of aircraft.
According to the forest department, some 3,700 trees may have to be cut. These include semal, bamboo, amaltas, banyan, kusum and arjun trees.
However, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in June told AAI that the government would not cut or prune the trees.