Kerala: Flight operations to be temporarily halted at Thiruvananthapuram airport on April 21 | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Kerala: Flight operations to be temporarily halted at Thiruvananthapuram airport on April 21

Apr 17, 2024 02:13 PM IST

Flight services will be halted in connection with the holy 'Painkuni Arattu' procession of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.

Flight services will remain suspended at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport for five hours on April 21, in connection with the holy 'Painkuni Arattu' procession at Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple. The procession will take place across the airport's runway from 4 pm to 9 pm on the coming Sunday, TIAL said on Wednesday.

The Thiruvananthapuram International Airport has witnessed an increase in both the number of passengers and air traffic movements for the financial year 2023-24.
The Thiruvananthapuram International Airport has witnessed an increase in both the number of passengers and air traffic movements for the financial year 2023-24.

Taking to social media platform X, TIAL said, “Dear passengers, on April 21, 2024, flight services will be suspended from 1600 hrs to 2100 hrs to enable the smooth continuation of the holy Painkuni Arattu procession of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple through our airport.”

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“The updated timings of the flights are available with the respective airlines. Our team is committed to ensuring your journey remains seamless at our #GatewayToGoodness,” it added.

For decades, TIAL has been pausing operations and rescheduling flights twice yearly to enable the shrine's bi-annual ceremonial procession to pass through the runway. When the airport was initially constructed, the then-Travancore king Sree Chithira Thirunal said it would be open to the public for 363 days a year. Meanwhile, operations would be halted twice yearly to enable the shrine's bi-annual ceremonial procession. The royal-era ritual continued even after the Adani Group took over the airport's management.

The airport issues a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) twice yearly before the runway is closed for the bi-annual Alpassi festival, which falls in October-November, and for the Painkuni festival, which is held during March-April.

Thiruvananthapuram International Airport witnessed an increase in both passenger numbers and air traffic movements for the financial year 2023-24. A total of 4.4 million passengers travelled through the airport from April 2023 to March 2024, compared to 3.46 million passengers in 2022-23. Out of 4.4 million passengers, 2.42 million were domestic passengers, and 1.98 million were international passengers.

This is one of the highest ever pax numbers in the airport's history.

With inputs from PTI

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