In Bihar, India -- Trim Trees or Shut the Airport

 - June 18, 2012, 4:00 PM

The Chief Minister of India’s Bihar State, Nitish Kumar, responded last week to a safety ultimatum from the Airport Authority of India (AAI) demanding the trimming of almost 3,000 trees in a biological park near Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport (VEPT) in Patna. AAI says the trees pose a threat to aircraft and may soon prevent Boeing 737- and Airbus A320-size aircraft from using the airport’s 6,312-foot runway. An India Today story quotes the minister as saying, “Let them shut down the airport if they wish to. We will not fell all the trees in our green belt. If the Patna Airport is shut down it will be the failure of the AAI.” Old buildings near the airport have also been identified as runway safety hazards.