One of the most important tourist sites of Bihar have not had the facility to allow planes to land at night since 2008. The Gaya International Airport, plagued by Maoist threats till today requires extra vigilance. It is strange to realize that the night landing facility for aircraft at the airport has not been revived after the devices installed in February, 2008, for the then President Pratibha Patil’s visit for MU convocation, went missing.
According to a news report, few months after Patil’s visit to Bodh Gaya, the surveillance devices installed at the nearby hillocks, including Brahmajoni, were stolen and the Airports Authority of India ( AAI) suspended night operations for an indefinite period. No initiative has been taken thereafter to reinstall the devices and resume night operations at the airport.
As of now, regular flights of Air India, Druk Air, Mihin Lanka, Mayanmar Airways International and Thai Airways land and take off only during day time. With tourist season at its peak in December, chartered flights, too, frequent the airport.
According to tour operators in Bodh Gaya, night landing facility at the airport may give a fillip to the tourism business as winter days are small and the working period of the airport remains very limited and does not suit a sizeable number of tourists having time constraints.