Lengpui Airport (Lengpui Ṭumhmun)
|Operator||Indian Government. of India/Airports Authority of India|
|Location||Lengpui, Mizoram, India|
|Elevation AMSL||405 m / 1,328.4 ft|
|Statistics (April 2018 - February 2019)|
Lengpui Airport (IATA: AJL, ICAO: VELP) ( Mizo: Lengpui Ṭumhmun) is a domestic airport in Aizawl, Mizoram, India. The airport is connected by flights to Kolkata, Imphal and is located at a distance of 32 km from Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram. Lengpui Airport is the first large airport in the country to be built by the State Government.
The airport was constructed at a cost of ₹ 979 millions and was completed in a record time of two years and two months. The construction work started in December 1995 and completed in February 1998. The Airport is expected to be able to cater to 300 incoming and outgoing passengers. Before the construction of this airport, Aizawl was 130 km (81 mi) from the nearest railway head at Bairabi and 205 km (127 mi) from the nearest airport at Silchar. With regards to land acquisition it has been found out that about 65 percent of the area acquired, belonged to some high government officials and political leaders at Aizawl who started buying plots from people in Lengpui village at very low prices. They then donated the land to the government for the airport for which the rich persons got much more compensation as donors than the actual farmers. Previously, Lengpui was also served by Air Deccan which later became Kingfisher Red but the airlines stopped operating from Lengpui on April 2012.
The 2,500 metre runway of the Lengpui airport is unique in that it has many hilly streams running underneath. The airport is one among the three airports in India that has a table top runway (others being Kozhikode and Mangalore) which creates an optical illusion that requires a very precise approach from the pilot. At present, Lengpui Airport has installed Cat-I Instrument Landing System. which will help planes land safely during low visibility conditions. A Runway safety area and Isolation parking bay are also under construction plan. The Indian Air Force is planning to station at least 4 jet fighters at Lengpui airport. Indian Oil handles the Aviation fuel service department of lengpui airport.
Incidents and accidents
On 4 May 2011, a Northeast Shuttle's Cessna Caravan (VT-NES) crash landed at Lengpui airport, overshooting the runway. While there were no fatalities, the aircraft was damaged beyond repair and was written off. The officials at Lengpui airport attributed the mishap to rainfall coupled with strong winds reducing visibility during landing. However, the DGCA enquiry reported the cause of the accident to be "inadequate skill level of the pilot to execute a safe landing during marginal weather conditions". The pilot had failed to execute a stabilized approach. As a consequence the aircraft touched down well past the runway threshold, overshot the runway and fell into a ravine. The overshoot was a consequence of the pilot choosing to continue with the unstable approach, rather than going around to divert or make another approach. The DGCA also held the operator responsible for not ensuring that the pilot met the minimum regulatory requirements of the DGCA. The pilot was not cleared as per DGCA regulations to operate in airports situated in hilly terrain. The regulator also observed that the availability of a runway end safety area (RESA) and a functioning instrument landing system (ILS) would have increased the safety margin at the airport.
Airlines and destinations
|Air India||Imphal, Kolkata|
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