Friday, June 23, 2017

Aviation ministry directs two airlines to operate extra flights from Doha

THE MINISTRY OF Civil Aviation (MOCA) has directed Air India Express and Jet Airways to operate additional flights between Doha and Indian cities after some Gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia cut ties with Qatar. The flights will help bring back Indian nationals unable to get bookings.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt banned Qatari planes from landing in their countries and had forbidden them from using their airspace. Subsequently, Etihad Airline suspended its operations to Doha from Mumbai.
The ministry further indicated that additional services will ensure timely movement of Indian passengers to Doha. “External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had spoken to Minister of Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju on June 19. They discussed operating additional flights to Doha for Indians unable to get bookings,” an official statement from MOCA said.
The Ministry has called to operate an additional flight on June 22 and June 23 by Jet Airways from Doha to Mumbai. The flight will also be directed back to Doha for Indian passengers.
23/06/17 The Indian Express

Extra flights to Qatar are only being run to cater to Eid, vacation traffic, says aviation minister

Ashok Gajapathi Raju said the additional flights should not be seen as an ‘evacuation’.
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Thursday said that additional flights to and from Qatar had been arranged to cater to Eid and school vacation traffic. On Twitter, he said the flights should not be seen as an “evacuation as reported at some places”.

This comes a day after Raju had tweeted: “All steps necessary for timely movement of our citizens from Doha will be ensured. I and Sushma Swaraj ji are in touch on this issue”. Earlier this week, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had also taken up the matter of additional flights between India and Doha, weeks after Qatar was diplomatically isolated by several countries including Saudi Arabia.

Out of the 6.5 lakh Indians in Qatar, nearly three lakh are from Kerala. After Qatar was cut off by other Gulf nations – including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates – on June 5, flight operations in and out of Doha have been hampered. Swaraj had earlier said that the diplomatic stand-off of Qatar does not affect India.
22/06/17 Scroll.in

At least 3 airlines eyeing stake in Air India

At least three aviation companies, besides the Tata group, have shown an interest in acquiring a stake in the beleaguered national carrier Air India.

Sources close to the airline said that initial meetings had taken place with possible buyers, including the Tata group.

“After Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s interview to Doordarshan News in the last week of May saying the government is open to privatising the airline, three or four possible buyers – including the Tatas – have met with both the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Civil Aviation,” the source said.

BusinessLine could not independently confirm the names of the other suitors, and is therefore not disclosing their details, but among them are at least two international airlines.

“Nothing definite have emerged from these talks yet,” the source added. “Within the government itself, there are differing views about privatising Air India. We’ll have to wait for the Cabinet meeting next week to see which way the government wants to go.”

While Air India has a 105-strong fleet strength and deep international networks, it comes with aircraft-related debt of ₹20,000 crore and another ₹32,000 crore of working capital debt.
22/06/17 Tanya Thomas & Rajesh Kurup/The Hindu Business Line

JRD, Nehru & Air India

There is more than just an element of truth about history inching towards a full circle with the Tata Group expressing interest in the ailing Air India. And, that history begins with the pioneer of Indian civil aviation, Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, popularly known as JRD, the man who took immense pleasure in flying. In 1929, JRD became the first Indian to obtain a pilot’s licence in India still under imperial yoke.

Three years later Tata Sons founded Tata Airlines Ltd. The inaugural flight between Mumbai (then Bombay) and Karachi — a Havilland Puss Moth model carrying a cargo of 25 kg mail — was piloted by JRD himself. He was deeply hurt by the way the Nehru government took over his airline, then called Air India, in 1953.

In a letter to Sir Frederick James, the then in-charge of Tatas’ Delhi office, JRD had written, “Even more than the decision itself, I was upset by the manner in which nationalisation was introduced through the back door without any prior consultation of any kind with the industry.”
23/06/17 DNA

Air India debt unsustainable, should go to private hands: Niti Aayog

Air India should be privatised as its debt level is “simply not sustainable” and government action on the airline’s future course is likely within six months, Niti Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya said today.
The government is looking at various options, including possible privatisation, to revive the loss-making national carrier and Tata group is believed to be interested in buying stake in Air India.
“I think really where Air India stands now, it is almost a matter of existence. The debt is already about Rs 52,000 crore (and) we are adding of Rs 4,000 crore debt every year so this is simply not sustainable,” Panagriya said.
In an interview to CNBC-TV18, he said: “In the end, I think the airline does need to go with management in the private hand.”
While discussions are going on to decide the future course of action for Air India, Niti Aayog has recommended complete privatisation of the airline.
Panagariya said further that something should be happening this year with respect to Air India.
“We are in June, so we have six months (more) this year. You know, actually something happens or not depends on buyers but from the government side, we should see some action in the next six months,” he added.
Noting that successive governments recognised the problems with the airline but failed to act on them, Panagariya said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is bolder and more decisive.
22/06/17 PTI/The Indian Express

Modi's US visit: India to get Guardian drones; F-16 jets on agenda too

The Indian armed forces will be getting 22 American-made Guardian drones after the US cleared their sale ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Washington for his maiden meeting with US President Donald Trump. The clearance comes just days after the announcement of the possibility of making American F-16 fighter jets in India under the Modi government's Make in India programme.

As reported earlier by news agency PTI, the news regarding the surveillance drones came from government sources on Thursday. The deal, which is estimated to be worth $2-3 billion, is being termed as a "game-changer" for bilateral ties between the two nations.

Modi's two-day visit to Washington begins on Sunday. Trump met Chinese President Xi Jinping in April and has also had face-time with the leaders of nations including Japan, Britain, and Vietnam since taking office in January, prompting anxiety in New Delhi that India is no longer a priority in Washington.

According to informed sources, the decision was communicated to the Indian government and the manufacturer by the State Department on Thursday.

However, why do these drones matter? After all, they are unarmed. According to reports, the Indian armed forces intend to use them to keep a watch over activities in the Indian Ocean, a region which has seen the increased presence of Chinese naval assets.
23/06/17 Business Standard

GoAir starts aviation security training institute

Low cost carrier (LCC) GoAir Thursday announced the establishment of its "aviation security training institute" (ASTI). Approved by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the training institute was inaugurated by GoAir MD and CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer.
GoAir's ASTI will conduct aviation security training for its security staff, cockpit and cabin crew or personnel of all stakeholders covering security areas at airports as mandated by BCAS. This institute is also authorised and equipped to provide training to other airlines for the security requirements as per regulatory guidelines.
"ASTI is in line with our efforts to conduct aviation security classroom and e-learning training courses covering a wide range of issues, including safety and facilitation issues. This facility also boasts of state of the art equipment, approved by BCAS, to train all security and non-security staff providing guidance on technical procedure in all areas of aviation security," said Prock-Schauer.
22/06/17 Saurabh Sinha/The Times Of India

IndiGo Comes Up With Low Fares From Rs. 1,015. Details Here

Budget carrier IndiGo is offering fares from Rs. 1,015 on select routes, according to the airline's website. Airlines have been offering low fares for the July-September season, which is typically a lean season for airlines. IndiGo's Rs. 1,015 offer is applicable on Bagdogra-Guwahati route, for example. IndiGo's website shows Rs. 1015 fare available on Bagdogra-Guwahati route from July onwards. Other routes where IndiGo has come up with discounted fares include Chennai-Bengaluru Rs. 1,119, Jammu-Srinagar Rs. 1,148, Delhi-Jaipur Rs. 1,189, Coimbatore-Chennai Rs. 1,220 and Delhi-Mumbai Rs. 2289.

Low fares have sparked a strong interest for off-season travel. Lucrative offers and discounts are making off season travelling more popular as there was 27 per cent growth in airline searches for domestic destinations for this monsoon compared to the same period last year, as per online travel agency Cleartrip. "The average daily searches for airline bookings grew by 27 per cent for domestic and 15 per cent for international destinations in May 2017, when compared with the sale period in May 2016," according to data collected by Cleartrip on its platform.
23/06/17 NDTV

GoAir pilots derostered for flying plane after bird hit

TWO PILOTS were derostered and an inquiry was ordered on why they continued to fly a Mumbai-bound GoAir flight from New Delhi after a ‘bird-hit’. The plane had 155 passengers on board.
The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation has initiated the action against the pilots who were found to have violated protocol. While rules require them to return to the source airport, the pilots allegedly returned to the Indira Gandhi International airport only after continuing to fly for 45 minutes. The GoAir flight, G8, 338 from New Delhi to Mumbai on Wednesday took off at 10.45 am. The flight returned to New Delhi at 11.28 am and passengers were transferred to another plane.
23/06/17 The Indian Express

Airport Authority of India ropes in Tata Elxsi to design IT guidelines for airports

Design services provider Tata Elxsi has been roped in by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to design information and technology guidelines for all upcoming AAI airports. Tata Elxsi will help AAI set up a team and create a process to design and implement customer-centric information and wayfinding system, which will cover the entire passenger journey, right from parking to boarding the plane, the company said in a statement on Thursday. Tata Elxsi Chief Designer, Service Design, Narendra Ghate said prior experience on redefining passenger experience for some leading airports in India gave Tata Elxsi an edge to bag the mandate.
AAI Member Planning Sudhir Raheja said the authority was looking out globally for a company that can understand what people in India need and found that Tata Elxsi can help AAI in setting guidelines for all future airports at par with global standards.
22/06/17 PTI/The Indian Express

Jet Airways expands codeshare pacts with Air France, KLM Royal Dutch and Delta

Budget carrier Jet Airways on Thursday announced expansion of its codeshare partnership with Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and Delta Air Lines. Under the expanded pact, the carriers will expand choice and connectivity options for guests flying between India and Europe, Jet Airways said in a release. It enables Jet Airways passengers convenient access to as many as 43 European destinations via the airline’s European hub Amsterdam and 27 via Paris besides 34 in North America.
The enhanced partnership will provide seamless connectivity to 12 news destinations in Europe including Athens, Barcelona, Budapest, Dublin, Lisbon, London Heathrow, Lyon, Nice and Warsaw , among others through codeshare flights.
Similarly, passengers travelling from Europe or North America will gain unhindered air connectivity to 45 Indian cities on Jet Airways domestic network via Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai, the release said.
According to Jet Airways, codeshares on key sectors such as Mumbai-Paris, Chennai-Paris, Bengaluru-Amsterdam, and Mumbai-London will offer greater choice and connectivity to its passengers.
“The expanded cooperation reaffirms our commitment to offer our guests choice and seamless connectivity. In fact, our guests travelling to Europe and North America can benefit immensely from our multi-gateway connectivity to all destinations on Air France, KLM and Delta’s networks,” said Jet Airways Chief Commercial Officer Jayraj Shanmugam.
The partnership significantly expands Jet Airways reach in key markets and adds even more destinations to its already extensive international network, he added. At present, both Air France and Delta Air Lines are codesharing on Jet Airways’ current service between Mumbai and Paris.
22/06/17 PTI/The Indian Express

Traffic troubles on airport advisory committee radar

Pune: The Pune Airport Advisory Committee stakeholders are expected to focus on the traffic problem in the Lohegaon facility and find ways to ensure it has solar power in the meeting slated for next week.
A source told TOI the meeting would be significant because the state civil aviation minister had visited Pune earlier this month and discussed the development and expansion plans of the Pune airport at length.
"The meeting is slated to take place in the last week of this month. Earlier, the advisory committee meeting was held once a year. But now it is being held more than once, which is a good sign considering that the facility is under expansion. There will be detailed discussions about the status of the work being done and the future projects related to the airport," an airport official said.
Pune MP Anil Shirole, the chairman of the committee, said all issues would be discussed in details. "Some decisions would also be taken," the MP said.
23/06/17 Joy Sengupta/The Times Of India

No-Fly List Norms Likely In July First Week: Government

The norms for no-fly list to rein in unruly passengers are expected to be ready early next month, the government said today amid a parliamentarian being barred by domestic airlines for allegedly creating ruckus. A revised Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) is being finalised after receiving comments from the stakeholders. The civil aviation ministry has already come out with draft rules for a ‘national no-fly list’ of unruly passengers for all domestic carriers, under which the flying ban could extend from at least three months to an indefinite period. The CAR related to the no-fly list is expected to be notified in the first week of July, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey told PTI. Lok Sabha member from TDP J C Diwakar Reddy is barred by major airlines from taking their flights following allegedly creating the ruckus at Vizag airport last week as he was denied boarding by IndiGo. Reddy belongs to the same party as that of Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju.
22/06/17 Defence Aviation Post

HAL-Russian Helicopters form JV to assemble Ka-226T in India

Russian Helicopters and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has registered a joint venture for the license production of Ka-226T light helicopters in India.

The JV will produce at least 140 of the 200 Ka-226T helicopters India plans to acquire to replace the aged fleet of Aerospatiale SA 315B Lama /HAL Cheetah and SA 316B Alouette III/HAL Chetak light helicopter fleet operated by Indian Air Force, Navy and Army.

The venture will perform final assembly and repair of helicopters, as well as act as an integrator of the Indian supplier chain with a capacity to produce up to 35 helicopters per year.

The French made Arrius 2G1 turboshaft engines that powers the Ka-226T will be assembled jointly by HAL and Safran. Both of them already have extensive ties, through license assembly of the Safran Ardiden turboshaft engine by HAL, that powers the HAL developed Dhruv, Light Combat Helicopter and Light Utility Helicopter.

During trials in India, the Ka-226T demonstrated its capability to operate from the mountainous terrain and hot and humid climate in the country. It also achieved an altitude of 7,200 metres, exceeding Indian Army's 6,500 m requirement.
22/06/17 Aviation Analysis Wing

Reliance Defence To Partner With France’s Daher For Aerospace Components

Reliance Defence Limited on Thursday said it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Daher Aerospace, France for manufacture of aerospace components.

According to the fully-owned subsidiary of Reliance Infrastructure, the MoU was signed at the Paris Air Show.

Daher Aerospace is tier-one manufacturer in aerostructures segment comprising fuselage sections and fairings made of composites as well as conventional metals for Dassault Aviation and other leading global aircraft manufacturers.

In India, Dassault has 50 per cent offset obligation for 36 Rafale aircraft, a contract valued close to 8 billion euros. Reliance Defence is a key partner with Dassault Aviation for the largest offset programme so far in India.

“This offers a great opportunity for both the companies to work together for aerospace composites parts manufacturer. There is an increasing demand in aerospace sector for the composite components,” the company said in a statement.
23/06/17 Defence Aviation Post

Policy on rogue drones will be framed in Bengaluru

From the time Ranchoddas Shamaldas Chanchad wowed us with the device in 3 Idiots, drones have become almost a daily fixture in present times: from surveying the extent of floods to wedding photography, drones seem to be everywhere; so much so that at times they become a nuisance for law-enforcing agencies.

Bengaluru-based National Design and Research Forum (NDRF) is now working on a strategy to control rogue drones; it is evaluating what should be the ideal way to bring down an unauthorised drone and who should do it.

“We have to work out ways and means to track down these rogue drones and who is authorised to bring them down; whether it is the police personnel or trained professionals,” said NDRF director, K Ramachandra.

He added that NDRF will brainstorm and work out solutions on how to capture the drones — whether it should be done with the use of high speed electrons, by dropping nets on them or using falcons to capture and bring them down.
23/06/17 Hemanth C S/Bangalore Mirror

NoRKs sweat on high airfares

Upsetting the Ramzan travel plans of Non-Resident Keralites (NoRKs), airlines have hiked the fares five to six times from destinations in West Asia to the three airports in the State.

The increase in fares by airlines based in West Asia and India, including Air India and its low-cost arm Air India Express, is to cash in on the demand among NoRKs for seats during the festival season and closure of educational institutions for summer vacation in the Gulf.

The fare hike has hit workers who depend on the budget carriers for their travel back home. Many NoRKs are finding it difficult to fly down to Kerala with their family in view of the hike in fares.

Seats, especially in the sought-after economy class, are not available in the majority of the airlines during the weekend.

Those who want to be with their kin for Ramzan back home will have to get seats at an exorbitant rate.
22/06/17 S.Anil Radhakrishnan/The Hindu

Airport bursting at the seams

While the flight operations from Surat airport have increased in the last couple of months and more flight connections to be added to Kolkata and Patna starting from July 1, the terminal building will soon run out of the capacity to handle the passenger traffic.

At present, the terminal building is having peak hour passenger handling capacity of merely 250 passenger —125 arrivals and 125 departures — against the required capacity of 1,761 passengers per day. After the proposed Surat, Kolkata and Patna flight operations announced by SpiceJet starting from July 1 and the Surat to Dubai direct international flight by Air India Express in the next couple of months, the total passengers will increase at 2,401 passengers per day.

As per the rough estimate, the present capacity to handle passengers at the terminal building is 2 lakh per annum. At present, there are around 6.42 lakh passengers travelling to and from the Surat airport per annum in seven flights operated by SpiceJet and Air India, private operator Ventura Airconnect and Non-Schedule Operator Permit (NSOP). After the Surat-Kolkata and Patna and Surat-Dubai operations from July 1 onwards, the total passengers are projected to increase at 8.76 lakh per annum.
Also, there are only six check-in counters and three airlines using it and few more airlines interested to start! However, at least 20-25 check-in counters are needed to cater to the increasing passenger rush on the airport.
23/06/17 The Times Of India

Gold worth 1.12 cr. seized at city airport

The officers of Air Intelligence Unit at Mumbai airport recovered gold worth ₹1.12 crore in three separate seizures on Wednesday.

In the first incident, officers found two packets wrapped in black adhesive tape in the cavity behind the mirror in the rear toilet of Jet Airways flight 9W535 that arrived from Dubai at 7:45 p.m. Each packet contained five gold bars of 10 tolas each weighing 1.16 kg and valued at ₹34,80,000. The bars were seized under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962.

In another incident, the officers intercepted Nimisha Jentilal Gudhka, a wheelchair-bound passenger who arrived from Dubai by Jet Airways flight 9W 535. Gudhka, a native of Jamnagar in Gujarat, concealed eight gold bars weighing 660 gm and valued at ₹19,80,000, in his pocket and wallet. The passenger admitted possession, knowledge, concealment and recovery of the gold bars being smuggled into India without paying customs duty. Gudhka traded in electronics and office furniture in Kigali in Rwanda.
23/06/17 The Hindu

Bright days ahead for Madhurapudi Airport

Bright days are ahead of the airport at Madhurapudi near Rajamahendravaram. According to airport director M Raj Kishore, the runway expansion works are expected to be complete by end of December. The runway, if expanded, will allow landing of big flights. The existing 5,000 feet runway will be expanded to 10,500 feet to felicitate A 321 and Boeing 737-900 flights, if the project is completed.

The footfall of air passengers is steadily on the rise with 2.61 lakh in 2016-17 over 1.08 lakh in 2012-13. At present Jet Airways, Spice Jet and True Jet are operating flights to Hyderabad, Chennai and Bangalore. New airliners are reportedly showing interest to operate their services from the airport connecting major cities across the country.

The state government has given 857 acres of land to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to facilitate the runway expansion. The runway is presently located in 389 acres of land, which is said to be quite inadequate for landing of big aircrafts. The expansion programme was initiated with a cost of Rs 185 crore by AAI.

Sources said Indigo Airways representatives recently visited the airport and enquired about the existing facilities for running their services from Rajamahendravaram connecting all the major metros such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Chennai etc.
22/06/17 The Hans India

Approach road to IGI airport’s terminal 1D diverted: DIAL

The approach road leading up to terminal 1D of the IGI airport here has been temporarily diverted due to ongoing construction work, an airport official said on Thursday.

According to the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), which manages the IGI airport, the approach road had to be diverted due to construction work for a metro station at the terminal by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
22/06/17 India.com

Hosur Airport May Not Be Able To Solve South Bengaluru’s Woes

The Tamil Nadu government recently announced that it would build a domestic airport at Hosur in the Krishnagiri district, 40 kilometre south of Bengaluru. This proposed airport, is to be an extension of the existing aerodrome that is located at Belagondapalli, 10 km southwest of Hosur.

The Hosur aerodrome, known locally as Taneja Airfield, is a private airfield owned and operated by Taneja Aerospace and Aviation Limited (TAAL) and has been in operation from 1994. It has a 2,168 metre long runway that can handle most modern aircraft including Airbus A-320s and Boeing 737s, and features night-landing facilities. The aerodrome is primarily used by Air Works India and its subsidiary Air Livery for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) as well as painting aircraft.

Support for Hosur airport has existed in various forms for several years now. In the early 2000s, when the then airport serving Bengaluru, the HAL Airport was struggling to handle the crowd, the city of Bengaluru was significantly different from what it is today.

Back then, India’s Information Technology (IT) capital was vastly different in terms of the location of commercial centres. The largest concentration of IT parks and offices was in the suburb of Electronics City, 10 km south of Silk Board along Hosur Road (the Bengaluru - Kanyakumari National Highway). The region was reasonably well connected to the city as well as Hosur as Hosur Road was part of both the Golden Quadrilateral and the North-South Corridor. The second largest concentration was in Whitefield, in eastern Bengaluru, originally at the International Tech Park Limited (ITPL). Today, Whitefield is home to the Devangonthi fuel terminal from where a pipeline carries fuel to the Kempegowda International Airport in Devanahalli.
23/06/17 Srikanth Ramakrishnan/Swarajya

Airport Advisory Committee Meeting held at BPI Airport Bhubaneswar

Airport Advisory Committee Meeting was held at BPI Airport Bhubaneswar on 21.6.2017 (Wednesday) under the chairmanship of Dr Prasanna Kumar Patasani, Hon’ble Member of Parliament , Lok Sabha along with the all other members of the committee. At the outset , Airport Director Shri S C HOTA welcomed Chairman and other Committee Members to the meeting and outlined the various improvement steps being taken by the airports authority for the airport.
Esteemed members suggested Various Points for improvement the Airport services . Airport Director informed to all committee Member about Airports Authority Plan for future growth of the Airport and described various steps taken by Airport Authority to make the airport more friendly and comfortable for the Passengers.
22/06/17 Orissa Diary

Hyderabad’s RGIA to enhance security

A glaring gap in the security of the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, classified as one of the hyper sensitive airports in the country from the terror threat perspective, is finally being addressed.

The Cyberabad police, which has been of the view that the airport’s primary runway was visible to anyone outside the compound wall since the wall was not of the required height, have convinced the GMR officials, who run the airport, to initiate remedial measures.

The decision to go for an enhanced layer of security came after a recent high level meeting between police and GMR officials in the wake of recent alerts from central intelligence agencies on potential threats from terror modules to the country’s vital installations.

According to a senior official, it was the 4,260 metre-primary runway of RGIA that was prone to attacks, courtesy the low compound wall. The 3,707 metre-long parallel runway was used only in case of emergencies or when the first one was shut down for maintenance.
23/06/17 Telangana Today

HC disposes case on Greenfield Airport

Referring to the news item published in this daily under the headlines “High court dismisses PIL, paves way for Greenfield Airport” on June 19, petitioner Tadar Takio said that the HC has disposed of the case and not dismissed it.
Citing his PIL No. 22 (AP) 2015 regarding the Greenfield Airport, Takio further claimed that the interpretation regarding Greenfield Airport was not made in compliance of the court order.
23/06/17 The Arunachal Times

Indore: Close shave for 200 passengers as Jet flight survives air turbulence

Over 200 passenger of a Jet Airways flight arriving from Delhi had a narrow escape after the flight drifted down to as low as 250 feet from the ground on Thursday. The fall was so harsh that the crew, luggage and even the highly balance service trolley too fell down on the floor in a just 2 seconds of jolt mid air.

The Jet Airways Delhi-Indore flight departed from Indira Gandhi International Airport New Delhi at its schedule time 10.25 am. But, about 30 minutes before landing at the city airport the aircraft carrying over 200 passengers suddenly suffered a major jolt, which was experienced hardly for 2 seconds.
23/06/17 The Free Press Journal

CISF reunites two kids with families at IGI

In two separate cases, two children were re-united with their families at the IGI airport after they reportedly got lost inside.
CCTV surveillance was used in both cases by the CISF after personnel found the children roaming around Terminal 3 on their own. The first incident was reported on Wednesday around 11.30am when CISF personnel noticed a child roaming alone in the check-in area of T3. The child was approached and was asked questions about his parents, while CCTV footage was analysed. Officials say the father of the child was identified immediately.
23/06/17 The Times Of India

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The air pockets in Tata’s plans to pilot Air India

It seems right out of a bollywood movie: A businessman taking back control of a cherished asset that an opportunist government unfairly snatched away from his father more than six decades ago. If the ET Now news report about the Tata Group discussing buying a controlling stake in the ailing Air India from the government comes to fruition, it would be a huge boost to the sentiments at the country’s largest industrial conglomerate, which, ironically was the original founder and owner of what is now India’s beleaguered national carrier. However, there might be a few concerns that the Tata Group chairman N Chandrasekaran must be watching out for right now.
First, Air India would not be the only airline in the Tata Group portfolio. The group’s keen interest in an otherwise tough Indian aviation market is no secret, owing to which, Tata has built up positions and active business interests in two major domestic carriers. It has an equal stake in low-cost carrier AirAsia India in partnership with Malaysia’s Air Asia, and a controlling stake in a premium airline Vistara in joint venture with Singapore Airlines.
Air India, which is also a full service carrier with an envious market share of the Indian aviation market, would be an interesting addition to its existing business portfolio. While Air India’s brand and service positioning is quite different than Air Asia, it might be in direct competition to Vistara on certain routes and sectors, although Vistara’s fleet of 14 aircraft is no match to Air India’s 118 aeroplanes. Nevertheless, Tata Group may require the approval of the competition regulator Competition Commission of India.
The major problem is the debt. Air India, under intense competition from leaner, more efficient and often-cheaper private airlines, is reeling under a debt of over Rs 50,000 crore, with about Rs 28,000 crore in working capital debt, and about Rs 4,000 crore in interest burden alone. It has not turned profit in 10 years, since at least the year 2007.
The Tata Group is reportedly concerned with Air India’s huge debt pile and is reportedly seeking a substantial reduction in the debt burden before considering the acquisition. Meanwhile, the government, which is also reportedly keen on retaining Air India as a domestic carrier and is happy with the Tata Group’s interest in the national carrier, is also reported to have assured that it will bring the airline’s debt down substantially to make the deal lucrative for the Tata Group.
To add to uncertainties, the structure of the deal could be another point of discussion. It is still not clear whether the government is looking for partial disinvestment through dilution of controlling stake, or an outright privatisation with 100% stake sale and complete exit. With the amount of money and scale of operations at stake, it will be keenly watched if Tata is willing to have the government as a minority partner, and thus a pile-on in what it is sure to treat as a most cherished asset.
22/06/17 Financial Express

Three Reasons Why Tata May Buy Air India Stake With Singapore Airlines

The Tata group, which founded India’s first commercial airline, Air India, which was later nationalised, is considering buying a stake in the debt-laden national carrier in partnership with Singapore Airlines, a person familiar with the matter said.

“It’s a possibility,” the person said, requesting anonymity. “You sign the cheque and from the very next day imagine the clout you have in the subcontinent, deep into Europe and the United States.”

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on 1 June that he favoured selling the loss-making Air India, although a formal decision on the sale has not been taken. Jaitley added that he had asked the aviation ministry to look at possible ways of privatising Air India.

Spokespersons for the Tata group and Singapore Airlines declined to comment.

A second person familiar with the thinking in Bombay House, the corporate headquarters of the Tata group, claimed that the conglomerate’s former chairman Ratan Tata and current chairman N Chandrasekaran have informally (and separately) discussed their interest in Air India with various government officials. Mint couldn’t independently verify this.
22/06/17 Tarun Shukla/Swarajya

Tata Group May Buy Major Stake in Air India

Bengaluru: The Tata group may buy a major stake in Air India, top sources told CNN-News18 on Wednesday, adding that the group is holding talks with officials from the Civil Aviation Ministry.

Source from the industry said, "There were four conglomerates that were interested in buying the airline. Tata Group being one of them are very keen in buying a major stake in the airline if not for 100%. They are in talks with top ministers at the Centre on the process of buying. Tata Group feels that it's their airline and they want it back."
The reference is obviously to the fact that AI was started by the Tata Group in 1932 as Tata Airlines. After Independence, the group joined hands with the government in 1948 to fly the airline which was fully nationalized five years later.
Television channel ET Now reported that Tata Group chairman N Chandrasekaran has already held informal talks with the government and that the group may bring Singapore Airlines on board to buy a minority stake if the national carrier is fully privatised.

Highly placed sources had earlier told CNN-News18 that the Finance ministry and Civil Aviation Ministry had drawn a road map to divest either a significant part or whole of Air India.

A source said the government is keen to have a clear plan for privatization of Air India by September so that there is a window of six months to carry out the necessary processes before the end of the financial year. “This decision was taken at the top level in the government. If all goes as per plan, by next financial year, Air India will be owned by a private player,” the source said.
22/06/17 Nagarjun Dwarakanath/CNN-News18

Tata Airlines to Air India: Is the Maharajah set for a home flight?

New Delhi: In the highly competitive Indian aviation market, Air India, the country’s flag carrier, has long been struggling. The ‘Maharajah’ is beset with a debt of over Rs 52,000 crore and has been teetering on a bailout package that was extended by the government in 2012. Over the last two decades, calls for partial or complete privatisation of the airline have often risen although no substantive solution was ever found.
Earlier this month, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in surprising remarks, said in an interview that he would sell the airline completely if given a choice. “Air India can continue to be a national carrier and somebody else pay for its management,” he told ET Now.
Now, reports are emerging yet again that the Tata Group, one of the country’s biggest conglomerates, is holding discussions with government representatives about buying a stake in the beleaguered airline. The company, of course, hasn’t confirmed the speculations but if true, we may be looking at the national airline making a return to its place of birth.
Air India, before its nationalisation, used to be known as Tata Airlines having been founded by former chairman of Tata Group, JRD Tata in 1932. Tata, right from his childhood, was passionate about flying through his association with the family of Louis Bleriot, a French aviator, and got his first shot to ride in an aircraft in 1919 when he was just 15 years old. His aviation ambitions came true 10 years later in 1929 when he became the first man in India to get a commercial pilot’s license. Three years later, Tata Airlines was born with an initial investment of Rs 2 lakh from Tata Sons and two second-hand de Havilland Puss Moths. In the autumn of 1932, in India’s inaugural flight, Tata himself piloted a single-engine plane carrying 25 kilograms of mail from Karachi to Bombay. The mail used to come to Karachi from England by the Imperial Airways.
In subsequent years, Tata Airlines also ran commercial operations apart from the usual mail deliveries, often making stops between Mumbai and Trivandrum and then later to Delhi, Gwalior and Bhopal. Six years after its birth, Colombo became the airline’s first international destination charting a growth map few airlines were able to match within such a short span of time. It also conducted several trips during the Second World War carrying refugees from Burma and constantly engaged in the maintenance of RAF equipment.
In 1946, Tata Airlines was re-christened Air India Ltd after it became a joint stock company and opened its office on the second floor of the head office of Tata Group. While relations between the government and the company were initially smooth post-independence, rumours soon began to swirl of the airline along with a host of other companies being considered for nationalisation, a proposition JRD was not comfortable with.

22/06/17 Indian Express

Qatar Airways considers India, Italy plans

Qatar Airways is in talks with Bombardier concerning the possible use of CSeries jets for the Qatari carrier's proposed Indian venture, CEO Akbar al Baker has said.

"Instead of ATRs [from Avions de Transport RĂ©gional] or Q400s [from Bombardier], I could use the CSeries on short-runway destinations in India," he told Reuters during the 2017 Paris Airshow.

In March this year, al Baker revealed plans to take advantage of India's proposed relaxation of laws governing foreign investment in local carriers. Under the plan, though foreign carriers may not own more than 49% of an Indian airline, sovereign wealth funds are and have been permitted to own up to 51% of Indian scheduled passenger airlines.

As such, al Baker said the proposed venture would use the Qatar Investment Authority, Qatar's sovereign wealth fund and Qatar Airways' parent, as a likely vehicle to establish the carrier.

The future of the project, as well as the proposed finalization of Qatar Airways' acquisition of a 49% stake in Italy's Meridiana fly, will have an impact on what the carrier does with its LOI with Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) for sixty B737 MAX 8s.
21/06/17 ch-aviation

Airline cos in a sweet spot; 18% passenger growth sustainable: Experts

The airline stocks have been doing well in a goldilocks like scenario. To discuss the dynamics of the industry as well as potential of a new player coming into the private listed space – Air India. CNBC-TV18 spoke to Amber Dubey, Partner & Head of Aerospace & Defense, KPMG and Mayur Milak, Senior Research Analyst, Indianivesh Securities.

Dubey is confident that the 18 percent passenger growth for the sector is very much sustainable because it is backed by some solid fundamentals. The oil prices look like they will be stagnant at the levels sub USD 50/barrel, the policy initiatives taken by the government have aided growth, the propensity to travel by air, higher per capita incomes and the economy growing at steady place – all these fundamentals will support growth of the airline sector.

However, on the flipside the airline space is vulnerable to security, safety issues and health issues like a disease outbreak where the bookings get cancelled, says Dubey.

The only headwind for the aviation sector is the infrastructure gap at main airports like Mumbai, Delhi and others like Goa, Pune etc but on the whole the current environment is conducive for growth.

Talking about the privatisation of Air India, Milak says that would help bring in lot of efficiencies to the carrier. However, it is unlikely to be a neck-breaking competition to the other private players. In fact it would be good for the whole of aviation space.

Therefore, the entire sector looks in a sweet spot, believe Milak, adding that it is supported by lower crude price, the demand looks structural and not seasonal.

So, the overall growth looks intact and valuations are still cheap. There is still value in SpiceJet.
22/06/17 Arthur Dubey/CNBC-TV18/moneycontrol.com

SpiceJet in tie-up with US firm for lighter seats

Low-cost carrier SpiceJet has entered into a tie-up with a US-based company for lighter seats that also offer more legroom on the aircraft.

The airline has awarded a seat programme for its first 50 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. A part of SpiceJet's existing Boeing 737 Next Gen fleet will also be retrofitted with the new seats.

The agreement with LIFT by EnCore is for a product line called Tourist Class Seating.

"Owing to its superior design, lighter weight and extra legroom, passenger-centric Tourist Class Seating has garnered tremendous popularity in the global aviation space. Once in place, it will elevate comfort and convenience of passengers and enhance customer experience," SpiceJet said in a statement.

Lighter seats also help airlines cut fuel costs as a drop in weight means less fuel is burnt to operate an aircraft.
22/06/17 moneycontrol.com

33 destinations to have air integration soon

Chennai: About 33 destinations (unserved airports) throughout the country will be connected by air services by this September-end, Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju has informed on Wednesday.

Five operators would operate on 128 routes connecting 70 airports, most of which are not well connected by airlines at present. “Five airlines will be participating in the first phase and we will see (air) connectivity by this September-end,” Gajapathi Raju said.

These 33 destinations would be connected under the Udan scheme, Gajapathi Raju who earlier participated in the International Day of Yoga at SBOA School here, said. Noting that Salem airport in Tamil Nadu is inoperative, the Minister said it is for the state government and airline operators to decide on providing regional connectivity.

Over 45 unserved and under-served airports are expected to be connected under the scheme - UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) that aims to make flying more affordable.

In the first round of bidding, Air Odisha Aviation has won the bid to connect the maximum number of unserved airports in the country.

Other carriers which won the bids to fly to unserved airports in tier-2 cities include Air India’s subsidiary Alliance Air, Air Deccan, SpiceJet, Air Odisha and Turbo Megha. About 50 per cent of seats on every flight will cost Rs 2,500 per seat under the Udan scheme. This will be applicable for flights where the distance is less than 500 km or one-hour.
22/06/17 Deccan Chronicle

7 Delhi-bound flights diverted to Jaipur airport due to air congestion

Jaipur: Seven Delhi-bound flights including two international flights diverted to the Jaipur International Airport due to air traffic congestion at national capital Delhi on Wednesday. All seven flights departed to Delhi after around two hours of halt at Jaipur.

“Total seven flights bound to Delhi were diverted to Jaipur between 1 to 1:30 o’clock in the afternoon,” Jaideep Singh Balhara, director, Jaipur International Airport told DNA.

“Five domestic flights that were diverted included two Air India flights from Bhubaneshwar and Hyderabad respectively, Indigo flight from Hyderabad, Aliance Air flight from Pant Nagar and Jet flight from Bengaluru. Two international flights also diverted including one of China Airlines and the other one from Dhaka, a Jet flight,” he added.

According to Jaipur airport director, due to congestion at Delhi, the flights could not land at the airport in the national capital and they had to take rounds for a long time over Delhi so they were diverted to Jaipur.

“The flights departed for New Delhi after around two hours as the congestion eased,” Balhara said.
22/06/17 DNA

Naidu: Orvakal airport will accelerate growth

​Kurnool: Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu has said the greenfield airport being constructed at Orvakal will help weed out faction feuds in Kurnool district. With the construction of the airport, many industries will come up in the district thus helping business in this area and generating more employment.

The Chief Minister, who laid the foundation stone for the airport on Wednesday, said that it will be constructed in 2,000 acres at a cost of Rs 120 crore. He said as of now businessmen of Kurnool have to go either to Hyderabad or to Bengaluru airports by travelling hundreds of kilometres for not having the airport facility in Kurnool. He said the Orvakal airport would be constructed with international standards and would be completed just in a year.

Naidu also laid the foundation stone for a food processing unit at Tangadancha village in Jupadubungla mandal. The food processing unit is being established by the Jain Irrigation System at a cost of Rs 400 crore.

He also inaugurated a school building constructed at a cost of Rs 7 crore funds of the Self Help Groups. CPM district secretary K Prabhakar Reddy said the construction of the airport is to benefit the realtors only.
22/06/17 Hans India

Airports in private sector at Amaravati, Vizag: Naidu

Kurnool: Airports better than the one in Hyderabad would come up at Amaravati and Visakhapatnam in the private sector, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu announced at Orvakal on Wednesday. The State government was according priority to logistics and augmentation of passengers and good transport, expansion of roads, railway network and ports in the State, Mr. Naidu said at a meeting after laying the foundation stone for a greenfield no-frills airport at Orvakal in Kurnool district. The airport, coming up on 1,010 acres at a cost of ₹90 crore, would be completed in a year, he asserted.

The Central government launched the UDAN regional connectivity scheme to make air travel affordable to the common man, Mr. Naidu said. His government revived the Kadapa airport and developed international airports at Tirupati and Visakhapatnam.
22/06/17 The Hindu

India's GMR, four others other bid for Belgrade airport

Four consortia and one company will proceed the next round of bidding for a 25-year concession to operate Belgrade's Nikola Tesla airport, the biggest in the Balkan region, the company and a Serbian government commission said on Wednesday.

Serbia, which has an 83.1 percent stake in the airport, expects the deal to be worth around 400 million euros ($446 million).

The only company to have a non-binding bid accepted was France's Vinci Airports, according to a statement posted on Belgrade airport's website.

The consortia are France's Meridiam Eastern Europe Investments, Zurich Airport AG and France's Eiffage; India's GMR Infrastructure Limited and Greece's Terna; South Korea's Incheon International Airport Corp., Turkey's Yatirimlar ve isletme and Russia's VTB Capital Infrastructure; China's Hainan Air Travel Service, HNA and China National Aero Technology, the statement said.

The government repeatedly extended an initial March deadline to give bidders more time to complete their offers.
21/06/17 Reuters

Jet airways to launch flights to Jaipur and Ahmedabad

Indore:  Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport of Indore is going to have two direct flights to states like Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Jet Airways (India) has written to city airport authorities to allow it to operate two new flights that it plans to introduce on the Indore-Ahmedabad-Indore and Indore-Jaipur-Indore routes from July.
This comes in the leap of new flights introduced by Air India on Indore, Gwalior, Mumbai and Delhi routes recently.
"We have given approval to Jet Airways for operations of direct flights between Indore-Jaipur and Indore-Ahmedabad," Indore airport's director Aryama Sanyal said. She said the airline plans to start flights to these two destinations mid July.
She said though they have approved their proposal, a tentative schedule for the flights is expected to be released by the airlines soon. "As of now there is no direct flight to these two destinations, and passengers from different sectors have been demanding for direct flights to these two cities," she added.
22/06/17 Times of India

Sexual harassment onboard flights: Do airlines prioritise brand image over justice to crew, passengers?

On 17 June, a man named Ramesh Chand on board an IndiGo flight travelling from Hyderabad to Delhi was caught masturbating. A co-passenger sitting beside him complained to the crew, and the man was arrested upon landing in Delhi.
This isn’t the first time we’re hearing about sexual harassment on Indian planes: Back in 2006, Kerala public works minister PJ Joseph reportedly molested a woman on a Kingfisher flight. He then earned the distinction of becoming the third Kerala minister to quit after being involved in sexual harassment cases and was later acquitted in a district court.

In 2009, a passenger on an IndiGo flight was found staring at an air hostess and “masturbating mid-air”, as the Times of India liked to call it. In January 2017, a business-class passenger on an Air India flight groped a female passenger while she was asleep. In 2015, a video of a woman slapping a man who molested her on an IndiGo flight went viral. There are several more videos of similar cases uploaded on YouTube for no discernible reason, except perhaps to shame the men involved, or to satisfy the voyeuristic curiosity in videos of molestation that we’re now seeing in the age of smartphones and easy video recording.

An August 2016 article published in Slate tried to explore what happens in cases of sexual harassment on long-haul flights. It seemed to come to the conclusion that airlines are grossly ill-equipped to handle these instances, and the reasons seemed to boil down to three rough areas: a fear of ruining the airlines’ reputation, a fear of being sued if the allegations prove to be false, and a concern about how expensive it is to divert a plane to an unplanned landing during an international flight.
Shylaja Gopal, who was a flight attendant for eight years with Jet Airways, adds that airline staff are keen to de-escalate these kinds of situations as much as possible, as they can’t take action based only on one person’s complaint, and that the situation could reflect badly on the airlines if the accused ends up being found innocent.
Something about this protocol doesn’t sit right, does it? Maybe it’s that it feels like an unsatisfactory response that’s tailored to suit the status quo of how flights and cabin crews currently work and are staffed, not like a plan that’s been formulated to create targeted mechanisms to deal with sexual harassment and women’s safety specifically.

That being said, what more can you do when flying thousands of feet above the air with no official authorities on hand to intervene? I’m not sure. Would it be a good idea to have security guards or officials entrusted with the responsibility of making sure that flights are safe from criminal actions? Should cabin crew be taught that the reputation of the airline or the possibility of legal action against them is not greater or more important than the safety of women passengers?
22/06/17 Sharanya Gopinathan/First Post

Air Costa has Air Operator's Certificate suspended

Plans for Air Costa  to restart operations have hit another hurdle, with India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) suspending its Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) following three months of inactivity. If the airline does not commence flights within the next two months, it risks the complete cancellation of its AOC, reports the Deccan Chronicle.

The airline, which launched in 2012, expanded to pan-Indian operations in October 2016. However, it suspended all flights in February 2017, due to unresolved "financial issues" with its lessor GECAS, from which it leased three EMB-190s.

A relaunch date of March 15 proved fruitless, and the three GECAS EMB-190s have all now been re-registered. Prior to its suspension, Air Costa served Ahmedabad, Bangalore Int'l, Chennai, Hyderabad Int'l, Tirupati, Jaipur, Vijayawada and Vishakhapatnam.
21/06/17 ch-aviation

GoAir to operate 3rd Bengaluru-New Delhi daily direct service from June 24

Bengaluru:  GoAir is set to increase its operations between Bengaluru and New Delhi with the launch of a third daily direct flight between the two cities, with effect from June 24.

The addition of this new daily direct service will bolster GoAir’s offering between India’s Silicon Valley and the National Capital further strengthening the airline’s growing domestic network and significantly enhancing connectivity for passengers.

The new additional service has been introduced in response to a growing demand in this sector, particularly from corporate travellers. With this addition, GoAir now flies 1,225 weekly flights between its 23 destinations.
22/06/17 Business Line

GoAir starts aviation security training institute

New Delhi: Low cost carrier (LCC) GoAir Thursday announced the establishment of its "aviation security training institute" (ASTI). Approved by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the training institute was inaugurated by GoAir MD and CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer.
GoAir's ASTI will conduct aviation security training for its security staff, cockpit and cabin crew or personnel of all stakeholders covering security areas at airports as mandated by BCAS. This institute is also authorised and equipped to provide training to other airlines for the security requirements as per regulatory guidelines.
"ASTI is in line with our efforts to conduct aviation security classroom and e-learning training courses covering a wide range of issues, including safety and facilitation issues. This facility also boasts of state of the art equipment, approved by BCAS, to train all security and non-security staff providing guidance on technical procedure in all areas of aviation security," said Prock-Schauer.
22/06/17 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

TCI to design galleys for India’s SpiceJet

Istanbul: Turkish Cabin Interiors (TCI), a global player in the aviation industry in design, certification and manufacturing of cabin interiors, has come to an agreement with India’s SpiceJet to manufacture galleys of its new 155 B737 MAX aircraft.

The deliveries of the program will start in August 2018 and continue until 2024.

SpiceJet is one of the largest airlines in India. With the new aircrafts equipped with TCI, a joint venture of Turkish Airlines and Turkish Aerospace Industries, being delivered, it will strengthen its market position with those deliveries including state of the art Turkish product galleys, a statement said.
22/06/17 TradeArabia

Hyderabad-Nanded: Trujet to extend service till Mumbai from July

Mumbai: Regional carrier Trujet has decided to extend its Hyderabad-Nanded service till Mumbai, under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), from the first week of July. The airline has received good response from passengers for its Nanded-Hyderabad route, which was launched on April 25. While the extension till Mumbai was planned since then, various reasons delayed the launch.
“We were waiting for specific clearances concerned with flying. We have also been allotted a slot from Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) for the same. We are sure of starting it from this July,” a senior Trujet official said. The airline operates a 72-seater ATR on the route.
According to airline officials, the regular service between Nanded and Hyderabad has seen more than 50 per cent booking in its flights in both directions. “We will offer a regular service to passengers for Mumbai with these flight services. Once the Mumbai route is initiated, we will prepone the present scheduling of flight to adjust the additional stoppage,” a senior Trujet official said.
Officials claim the religious importance of Nanded will invite huge traffic from Mumbai. “We expect the service to go full. There is immense demand from passengers of Mumbai for this service. Not only does this save journey time but it also cuts down time for commuters planning a trip to neighboring cities like Aurangaabd and Parbhani,” said Daljeet Singh, a representative of Nanded Gurdwara Board from Hyderabad.
22/06/17 Indian Express

Air Arabia plane grounded at Nagpur airport

Nagpur: An Air Arabia plane from Nagpur to Sharjah was grounded at the city airport since Wednesday morning after a technical snag was reported before take off. It has been reliably learnt that the Airbus plane developed a snag in the engine and there was suspected fuel leakage too. The flight did not take off till late evening. Officials at the airlines' Nagpur office did not respond to TOI's calls to seek a response.
For a long time the 58 passengers were kept seated in the aircraft itself after which some of them were shifted to private hotels, said sources. The aircraft which reaches Nagpur form Sharjah takes off again for Sharjah at around 4am in the morning. Air Arabia is the first international airlines to start services from the city.
22/06/17 Times of India

AAI ropes in Tata Elxsi to design IT guidelines for airports

New Delhi: Design services provider Tata Elxsi has been roped in by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to design information and technology guidelines for all upcoming AAI airports.

Tata Elxsi will help AAI set up a team and create a process to design and implement customer-centric information and wayfinding system, which will cover the entire passenger journey, right from parking to boarding the plane, the company said in a statement today.

Tata Elxsi Chief Designer, Service Design, Narendra Ghate said prior experience on redefining passenger experience for some leading airports in India gave Tata Elxsi an edge to bag the mandate.
22/06/17 PTI/Economic Times

Protest against proposed airport turns violent near Kalyan, several policemen injured

A protest against a proposed international airport at Newali, near Kalyan, in Maharashtra on June 22 turned violent, leaving several policemen injured.

Thane Police officials said the protesters, who gathered on the Haji Malang Road near Kalyan, first started burning tyres and later pelted stones at passing motorists and policemen. At least nine policemen were injured in the clashes that ensued.

“The Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ulhasnagar division, and the Senior Police Inspector, Hill Line police station, along with three other officers and four constables sustained injuries. The protesters also set two police vehicles and a private vehicle on fire,” said Thane Police spokesperson Inspector Sukhada Narkar.
Reports of the protest turning violent were sent out on the police wireless network and manpower from all nearby police stations, as well as Quick Response Teams, were rushed to the spot to quell the protest. Senior officers, including Joint Commissioner of Police Madhukar Pandey, Thane Police, too rushed to the spot.
22/06/17 Gautam S Mengle/The Hindu

Consumer panel denies aviation student full fee refund

New Delhi: The apex consumer commission has refused to grant relief to an aviation student, who sought a fee refund citing shortage of flying hours, saying that his approach towards his training was casual.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) allowed the appeal of Touchwood Aviation Academy in the Chhattisgarh capital Raipur and said it was clear that the student suffered the loss at his own peril.
In its order passed recently, the NCDRC refused the refund of the entire fee of Rs 4.6 lakh to the student after noting that he had voluntarily stopped the flying training.
It, however, granted him a refund of Rs 78,200, according to the terms and condition put up on the institutes website.
"The other students completed 50 hours of flying training within six months. Therefore, we cannot hold the institute responsible or deficiency in their services.
"In our view, the institute arrived correctly (at the amount of refund) as the complainant was eligible to get refund of Rs 78,200 only. We set aside the orders of both the fora below," the apex consumer bench headed by presiding member B C Gupta said.
22/06/17 PTI/India Today

CISF gets thank-you note from flyer for putting sex pest in dock

At a time when law enforcers are often in news for their apathy towards women facing sexual harassment, the CISF, which handles airport security, has received a pat on its back from a complainant for its sensitive handling of her case.
On Wednesday, a lawyer, who had a harrowing time onboard a Delhi-Mumbai flight earlier this week, wrote a thank-you note to the CISF for the way its staff at Mumbai airport handled the case.
The letter addressed to CISF director general O P Singh reads: "Sir I have read many case diaries and charge sheets and have heard from victims how traumatic the entire episode of any sexual molestation case is for the victim due to our procedures, but am now feeling a deep sense of gratitude to the way CISF Mumbai handled the entire episode, ensuring the smooth transfer of the matter to the local police, making me feel extremely secure and confident with my decision to lodge an FIR never even once trying to dissuade me or in any manner to make me feel a bit under pressure."
She further wrote: "After much thought I am sending this mail to you... wanting to put across my gratitude for making me feel safe and secure and for realizing that despite the thankless job that cops do in society, behind the uniform, we do have exemplary individuals who not only fight crime but also enable victims to speak up."
Singh told TOI: "The CISF personnel were called inside the aircraft as it was an urgent and serious matter. I spoke to her after we received the letter and she was still very distressed... I'm proud that my officers handled the situation with extreme sensitivity."
22/06/17 Times of India

10 gold bars recovered from Jet Airways flight

Mumbai: On specific intelligence, the officers of AIU rummaged Jet Airways flight no. 9W 535 which arrived from Dubai at 07

Each packet contained five foreign marking gold bars of 10 tolas each thus collectively weighing 1160 grams valued at Rs. 34,80,000/-.

The said gold bars were taken over and seized under panchnama dated 21.06.17 under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962. Further investigation is underway.

Based on profiling, the officers of AIU intercepted one passenger on wheelchair namely Nimisha Jentilal Gudhka , a native of Jamnagar, Gujrat who arrived from Dubai by Jet Airways flight no. 9W 535.

The said passenger has concealed eight gold bars collectively weighing 660 gms valued at Rs. 19, 80,000/- inside his pant pocket worn by him and his wallet.

The same was recovered and seized under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962.
The passenger in his statement recorded under Section 108 of the Customs Act, 1962 has admitted possession, knowledge, concealment and recovery of the said assorted gold bars which was being smuggled into India without payment of Customs Duty and in contravention of the Customs Act, 1962
22/06/17 ANI/Business Standard

Bizman held with scrapped notes, foreign currency at T2

Mumbai: The air intelligence unit of the customs department intercepted a Rajasthan based businessman and seized foreign currencies of different countries and demonetised Indian notes at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The man, Bhagchand Watwani, was caught while he was proceeding to take Air India flight No IX 247 to Dubai on Tuesday.

Watwani, who claimed to be a textile merchant selling clothes bought from Mumbai in Dubai, was carrying 5,000 sterling pounds, 20,000 Saudi riyals and 300 US dollars in addition to demonetised notes worth Rs 21,500 and regular currency worth Rs 44,000. At current exchange rates, the seized currency is worth Rs 7.72 lakh.

“We found his behaviour unusual and decided to search him and his baggage. He also did not have the papers to carry foreign currency,” said an AIU official. While travellers are allowed to carry foreign currency while flying out, if the amount is significant, flyers have to declare it at the airport and get necessary approvals.
22/06/17 Mumbai Mirror