Bagdogra Airport in the Indian state of West Bengal was closed for about five hours today as a precautionary measure after a crack was spotted on the runway. Bagdogra Airport lies in the northeastern part of the country and has only one runway, which is roughly 9,000 feet (2,743 metres) long. The Indian Air Force manages the lone runway at Bagdogra Airport as well as all air traffic control activities (IAF).
Bagdogra Airport sees around 20-30 take-offs and landings on any given day. However, flight operations were seriously affected yesterday due to an unplanned runway closure around 11:50 a.m. local time. Only seven planes were able to land, and only five took off before operations were halted until 17:15 local time.
Seven planes that were already in the air were diverted to neighbouring Kolkata (CCU) and Guwahati (GUY) airports (GAU). In addition, 21 airline services were cancelled, causing thousands of passengers to be impacted. After Indian Air Force teams repaired the runway in the evening, operations at the airport were resumed.
Bagdogra International Airport, as turns out, was due for scheduled runway work in less than a month. Minor repairs had been underway for around two years, but the authorities needed to close the runway for at least a fortnight to complete the modifications. From April 11th to April 25th, 2022, airport was scheduled to be closed.