NEW DELHI: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is planning to upgrade runways at seven airports across the country by March 2022, senior officials said on Sunday.

These seven airports are at Jammu (J&K), Kolhapur (Maharashtra), Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh), Barapani (Meghalaya), Kadapa (Andhra Pradesh), Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh) and Tuticorin (Tamil Nadu), the AAI officials told PTI.

The officials said the runway at the Jammu airport is undergoing expansion from the current length of 2,042 metres to 2,438 metres and it is planned to be completed by March next year.

The extension of the runway of the Kolhapur airport from 1,370 metres to 2,300 metres has begun and is planned to be completed by December this year, the officials mentioned.

They said the runways at the Jabalpur airport and the Tuticorin airport are expected to be upgraded by December 2021 and March 2022, respectively.

Officials explained that the runway of an airport is designed for a particular type of aircraft, depending on traffic demand and other factors.

“As the traffic increases, the airline operators want to operate bigger aircraft from the airport. At that time, the runway has to be upgraded to make it suitable for that purpose,” said an official.

The runway at the Barapani airport will be “extended and strengthened” by December this year, the officials stated, adding that the Kadapa airport’s runway is also being “extended and strengthened” and the work will be done by March 2021.

They said the runway at the Tirupati airport will be extended from the current length of 2,286 metres to 3,810 metres by December 2021.

“In total, the runways of these seven airports will be upgraded by March 2022,” said an official.

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