MoIC secretary, Dasho Kinley Dorji, said that, with the new financial year’s budget becoming available, the ministry would now commence a significantly shortened tendering process to resurface the domestic runways.
He added that, within two weeks, all major companies would be approached. He pointed out that, while the ministry will seek the fastest way to conduct and complete the tendering process, all necessary procedures would be followed.
The national airline, Drukair, has pointed out that it would re-commence domestic operations only once both runways are resurfaced, and pass inspections by its safety and quality department.
Drukair suspended flights to Yonphula airport in June, and to Batpalathang, earlier this month. The airline cited safety concerns, given the deteriorating surface conditions of the two domestic airport runways. An inspecting team, in June, had found cracks developing on the Yonphula runway, and pebbles coming loose off the Batpalathang runway.
The department of civil aviation (DCA) did not agree with Drukair, and pointed out that a regional expert involved in the inspections, while recommending resurfacing of both runways immediately, had said daily inspections and sweeping were sufficient to keep both runways operational.
The information and communications ministry is expected to finalise a plan today.
By Gyalsten K Dorji