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Thiruvananthapuram: Flights to be suspended for 5 hours on April 21 for religious procession

Mangalore Today News Network/News18

Thiruvananthapuram, April 17, 2024: Flight services from the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport will be suspended for five hours on April 21 for the smooth continuation of the holy ‘Painkuni Arattu’ procession of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple across the runway, TIAL said on Wednesday.



The Thiruvananthapuram International Airport Ltd (TIAL) said the flight services would be suspended from 4 pm to 9 pm on April 21. It said the updated timings of the flights are available with the respective airlines.

The airport has been pausing operations and rescheduling flights twice every year for decades to enable the bi-annual centuries-old ceremonial procession of the shrine to pass through the runway.

The practice of the temple procession taking that path to reach the Shangumugham beach for the holy bath of the idols began centuries ago and it has been continuing even after the establishment of the airport in 1932.

When the airport was constructed at the particular place, the then Travancore King Sree Chithira Thirunal had made it clear that facility would be open for public for 363 days in a year and for two days for Lord Padmanabha, the titular deity of the royal family, according to historians.

The royal era ritual has been continuing even after the Adani Group took over management of the airport.

The airport issues a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) twice every year before the runway is closed during the bi-annual Alpassi festival which falls in October-November and the Painkuni festival in March-April.

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