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AAI chief junks A'bad runway report, orders vigilance probe

The runway at SVPI reported damage thrice this month (July 3, 15 and 26), with portions of bitumen coming off in one case.

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Runway at SVPI reported damage thrice this month with portions of bitumen coming off
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Unhappy with the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) Airport's preliminary report on its runway, which was found damaged multiple times this month, the chief of the national airports' operator – the Airports Authority of India (AAI) – has ordered a vigilance inquiry into the matter.

The runway at SVPI reported damage thrice this month (July 3, 15 and 26), with portions of bitumen coming off in one case. In other cases, uneven and rough patches and pebbles were spotted, which had resulted in several delays and/or diversions of flights.

On his visit to the city on Friday, AAI chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra said, "I am not happy with the preliminary report and have hence ordered a vigilance inquiry. A team, which also has vigiliance oficers, is already in Ahmedabad. Their report is expected in a week."

Mohapatra had ordered an investigation immediately after the first incident was reported. The vigilance team will also look into the quality of material used for resurfacing works and will take strict action against those found negligent.

According to sources at the airport, "The first inquiry had experts looking into engineering faults. But now, the team has vigilance officers who will delve deeper and handle the issue in a holistic manner, and consider each detail to interpret what went wrong."

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