In November 2014, a Delhi-bound SpiceJet flight taking off from Surat was interrupted by a collision with a buffalo gone astray. Fortunately no passengers were injured in the incident.
The airline immediately ceased services to the Gujarat airport, stating lack of adequate security and safety as reasons for withdrawal.
Following this incident, Airport Authority of India (AAI) began upgrading work on the airport: boundary walls were rebuilt, hindering bushes in the airport were removed, and the runway extension from 2250 meters to 2905 meters is now 50 per cent complete.
Surat Airport estimates the job will be completed by August this year, subject to weather conditions during the monsoons.
Airport director Pramod Thakre says, “Air India (AI) is operating flights between Surat, Mumbai and Delhi on a regular basis. SpiceJet’s technical team was impressed with the infrastructure development and safety parameters at the airport. We could hope for some good news by the airline in the near future.”
Air India flies daily between Surat and Delhi, and on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between Surat and Mumbai.
Neha Gupta Kapoor