Flight operations resume at airports after Notam withdrawal (Third Lead)

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New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) Commercial flight operations at many airports across North India, disturbed following air space restrictions that were imposed by the Indian Air Force (IAF) as a precautionary measure, were resumed after the withdrawal of Notam.

The operations, restricted from early Wednesday morning, were resumed after the withdrawal of the “Notice to Airmen” (Notam) issued by the Air Traffic Control (ATC) under the directions of the IAF.

The development comes a day after IAF jets bombed the biggest training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) outfit in Balakot, Pakistan on Tuesday. The IAF on Wednesday chased away intruding Pakistani fighter jets in Jammu and Kashmir’s Nowshera sector.

Several reports have said that Pakistan has banned any Indian aircraft from using its airspace and that Pakistan’s Air Traffic Control (ATC) has banned any aircraft from flying below 32,000 feet.

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According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the operational restrictions were removed in the early evening hours.

No commercial operations took place during the duration of Notam at these airports. Several flights had either been diverted or put on hold.

“Due to airspace restrictions, flights to and from Amritsar, Srinagar, Chandigarh and Jammu are currently on hold. Customers are requested to check flight status before commencing their journey to the airport,” Air Vistara had tweeted.

With the opening of the airspace, commercial flights have resumed to Jammu, Leh, Srinagar, Amritsar, Pathankot, Dharamsala, Kullu and Shimla airports.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha told the media that the ministry is strictly following instructions from the Air Force.

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On their part, the airlines said they have either refunded passengers or re-booked them on other available flights.

A SpiceJet spokesperson said: “Passengers whose flights were cancelled today (February 27) due to airspace restrictions have been provided a full refund or have been re-booked on alternate flights of their choice at no extra charge.”

National carrier Air India said that inbound and outbound flights from the US and Europe for Delhi are being re-routed through Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

“Flights landing into India from US and Europe are being re-routed via Dubai and Sharjah and will land into India with a delay,” the airline said in a statement.

“Air India would like to inform that no flight are cancelled and there will be only an increase in the flying time.”

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–IANS

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