By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News and Features Services)
The airports at Karachi, Islamabad and Peshawar are being closed for two hours daily and the closure will continue until end of December 2012 by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
The Gilgit Airport will be closed during day light timings for eight and a half hours; from 9:30 am till 6:00 PM and now only one flight may operate between Islamabad-Gilgit and that too during early morning hours. The weather may again disturb the single flight.
According to airport sources, initially the CAA had issued a notice to all the airlines that it would close airports to de-rubber the runways until September 15, 2012. Therefore all the airlines operating Hajj flights prepared their departure schedule from these major after the second week of September.
However, without consulting the airlines the CAA has extended the closure of airports until last week of December 2012 which has created a complete disruption of flight schedules for not only the national flag carrier but also other local and foreign airlines who are complaining about it.
Sources said that in case the government does not intervene and asks CAA to defer the cleaning of runways until the Hajj operation is over by end November the closure of airports may seriously affect the arrival of post Hajj flights.