Bihar asks AAI to pay Rs 115 cr for airport

After nearly seven years of prolonged “battle” and numerous reminders, the Nitish Kumar regime in Bihar has decided to hand over a small tract of land measuring 6.37 acres to the Airports Authority of India (AAI), thereby setting the ball rolling for the expansion of Patna aerodrome.

For this deal to fructify, the AAI will, however, have to pay the Bihar government Rs 114.66 crore as the price of the land which was under Home (Special) Department and occupied by the Special Task Force (STF).

The airport expansion plan could not take off due to the non-availability of land in the vicinity. One of the shortest runways in the country, it became a bone of contention between the state government and the Union Civil Aviation Ministry. The ministry  threatened to declare the  airport unfit for operation of bigger aircraft like Airbus 320 and Boeing 737.

Officially, the total length of runway is 6,409 feet, but only 5,061 feet is in use. The rich shrubbery on the eastern end and the railway cabin with its overhead traction lines on the south-western part reduces the effective runway length by 439 feet and 909 feet respectively.

Last year, the AAI identified 101 obstructions on either side of the runway which were dangerous for aircraft landing here in Patna.

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