Sunday, April 22, 2018

Air India plane hits turbulence, three injured; window panel falls off

New Delhi: An Air India aircraft flying from Amritsar to Delhi on Thursday (April 19) ran into such severe turbulence that three passengers suffered injuries, the inside part of a window panel came off and some overhead oxygen masks got deployed.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner (VT-ANI) had a very turbulent flight for 10 to 15 minutes during climb phase from 8,000 feet to 21,000 feet, the cause of which is being probed by the airline and aviation agencies.
“The turbulence on AI 462 was such that the head of a seated passenger, who possibly did not have his seat belt fastened, hit the overhead cabin because of a bump. The person suffered injuries. Two more had minor injuries. The inside of a window panel (18-A) came off. The outside window did not break and there was no de-pressursation. Passengers were naturally terrified,” said sources.
Some oxygen masks also dropped during the severe turbulent phase of the flight. The overhead panel cover of seat 12-U got cracks. “This was a freak high level turbulence. AI and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is probing it,” said a senior AI official.
On landing in Delhi, the three passengers were taken to hospital. “Our emergency response and angels took care of the three injured passengers who were taken to a hospital on landing in Delhi. The passenger whose head hit the overhead panel got stitches. Two passengers suffered minor injuries. They are all fine and took their connecting flights after getting the first aid. The passenger who got stitches said he felt ok and the doctors said he could travel. Our angels were with him throughout,” said the official.
In past few days, Delhi and north India have seen sand storms and winds blowing at high speed. Whether this was a contributing or only factor is something which the probe will reveal.
22/04/18 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

Brave stewardess replaces window panel after it pops out on Air India flight, as sobbing passenger watches on in terror

Dramatic footage of the incident was captured by a passenger and posted to Facebook, showing a female flight attendant replacing the window panel in the packed 787-Dreamliner flight from Amristar to Dehli on April 19.

A crying woman next to the window is seen sobbing in the video, with the brave stewardess doing her best to comfort the passenger after replacing the window.

The violent turbulence hit the aircraft for a full 15 minutes as it climbed to its cruising altitude, with three passengers needing hospital treatment upon landing.

The incident came after Jennifer Riordan, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, was killed when an engine exploded on a Southwest Airlines flight over the US on April 18.

 Brave stewardess replaces window panel after it pops out on Air India flight, as sobbing passenger watches on in terror.

US, EU regulators ask airlines to probe engines; Jet Airways to inspect four

New Delhi: The aftermath of a fatal engine blowout on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft has had an impact on Indian carriers too given that Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Air India Express also use the CFM56-7B engines on their aircraft. Following the incident which resulted in a passenger’s death, the US and European aviation safety regulators have called for inspection of the engines.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued separate emergency airworthiness directives late Friday mandating all airlines to perform an ultrasonic inspection of certain CFM56-7B engines manufactured by French company CFM. These directives were based on recommendations by the engine maker which was issued earlier. “CFM recommends ultrasonic inspections within the next 20 days to fan blades of CFM56-7B engines with more than 30,000 cycles since new,” it said. “Also, it recommends inspections by the end of August for fan blades with 20,000 cycles, and inspections to all other fan blades when they reach 20,000 cycles,” the company added. One cycle of a jet engine comprises an engine start, takeoff and landing, and full shut down.

In a statement, Jet Airways said it has commenced the required comprehensive checks to ensure “full compliance of the directives within the stipulated period of 20 days”. “The airline has four engines that are impacted by the directive with one already in scheduled maintenance. As the impact to Jet Airways is low, the inspections are not expected to cause any disruption to the airline’s published schedule and will be conducted well in advance of the stipulated timeline. Jet Airways is in close contact with both the aircraft and engine manufacturer as well as the Airworthiness authorities in both the US and India to ensure it is kept apprised of any further developments or initiatives that may be required or recommended,” the Mumbai-based airline said.

SpiceJet’s spokesperson said that the low-cost carrier had no engines in its fleet that have completed 30,000 cycles, but added that all directions from CFM were being complied with. A senior Air India official confirmed to The Indian Express on the phone that its low-cost arm Air India Express also operated its Boeing 737 fleet on CFM engines, which were being inspected as part of the ongoing process of the airline’s maintenance schedule.
22/04/18  Pranav Mukul/Indian Express

Tender for civilian operations from air base, land nod sought

Ghaziabad: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has floated a tender for building civic infrastructure at Hindon Air Force station under the regional connecvtivity scheme. A contractor will be selected through the tender to carry out the infrastructure work at the proposed civilian airport terminal at the base, officials said.
Meanwhile, the Ghaziabad administration has sent a report to the state government seeking an approval to procure land from the state housing board and farmers, following which an MoU will be signed expectedly in one week’s time.
“The lease rent draft have been prepared and it has been sent to the AAI for the approval. We hope that very soon MoUs will be signed with the farmers and also with the housing board which also owns a piece of land that would be required for developing the civil infrastructure,” said the district magistrate, Ritu Maheshwari.
Maheshwari, who was recently in Lucknow, said that a report on the revised lease rate has been submitted to the state government. It may be noted that the district administration is having a difficult time convincing some 43 farmers who jointly own 36,000 sq m of land in Sikandarpur village which is earmarked for developing the civic infrastructure for the domestic flight operations under RCS from Hindon Air Force station.
22/04/18 Abhijay Jha/Times of India

Airbus shortlists eight states for helicopter assembling facility

Chennai: Aerospace giant Airbus is planning to set up a helicopter assembling facility in India. The European giant has shortlisted eight states for the facility, which will be relocated from France.

Ashish Saraf, Airbus Group India vice-president for industry development, strategic partnerships and offsets, told Business Standard that the company has offered to assemble helicopters in India over the next three to five years if it gets the contract.

Tamil Nadu is among the eight states being considered. The state has access to a supplier base, owing to the region’s automotive industry. Being a coastal state, it also has an advantage in terms of logistics.

Airbus is planning to assemble its naval utility helicopters, including the Panther, for both domestic and export markets. These helicopters are being used by the navies of 18 countries, including the US Coast Guard.

“We have identified eight different locations in the country, that is all we can say right now,” Saraf said and refused to share any investment figures, adding that it would be a “substantial investment”.

“Airbus has started creating an ecosystem by building a supplier base for the Make in India programme,” said Saraf, otherwise known as the ‘Make in India’ officer for Airbus in India.

“To start with, minimum localisation would be around 40 per cent, according to the strategic partnership model,” he added.

Airbus’s supply base has grown 16 times over the last decade, reaching 46 suppliers in India. The company is still scouting for new suppliers. Sourcing from India in 2017-18 was over $550 million against $500 million the previous year, an increase of around 10 per cent. Saraf said this number will significantly increase with the sourcing of composites.
22/04/19 TE Narasimhan/Business Standard

Flying Club members move HC to unseal homes

New Delhi: Members of the Delhi Flying Club (DFC) and their families, who were evicted from their homes at Safdarjung airport after their residences were sealed on April 18, moved the Delhi high court seeking a direction to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to unseal their homes.
HC is likely to hear the matter on Monday. The court had in March sought replies from the Centre and the AAI on the issue.
The court issued notices to the authorities seeking their reply to the plea of the DFC, which was established in 1928, against the eviction notice issued by the AAI.
The club had sought interim protection from the eviction till Airports Appellate Tribunal is made functional. It submitted that since there is no appellate tribunal, therefore, it has moved the high court. To which the court posed a query to the club on whether it can give them the relief in the absence of the tribunal.
Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, former Orissa chief minister Biju Patnaik and former air chief marshal and Padma Vibhushan awardee PC Lal were some of the alumni of the DFC.
The club had submitted before the apex court that it had a licence for operation from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation till 2020 but the rent was enhanced by the AAI.
The DFC challenged the February 2 order of Delhi HC in the apex court, in which it has been held that the AAI was clearly the competent authority to determine the amount of rent and collect any dues, and its decision to pursue recovery of dues is valid.
22/04/18 Times of India

Mighty task force to help get Navi Mumbai International Airport off the ground

Mumbai: To complete the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) by 2019, Maharashtra government has set up a 23-member task force that will work on a war footing to meet all requirements.

According to the state cabinet's decision, the state government has set up the task force to deal with various agencies that are part of the proposed NMIA in Navi Mumbai.

The mammoth task force will be headed by the state chief secretary. Its members include secretaries of the home, finance, energy, and revenue & forest departments, and the chief of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation.

"The task force will work to get the security clearance, electric supply, water supply and so on for the proposed airport. It will work as a coordinator to get all sorts of approvals and clearances on time," said a notification frm the state government, a copy of which is with DNA.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently broken ground for the project at a ceremony. While inaugurating the function, Modi asked the state government and the nodal agency — CIDCO — to finish the project on time. He had joked he would come for the final inauguration only if the deadline was adhered to.

"Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis wants to complete the project on time so that they can showcase this infrastructural development work before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Congress sat on the files for 15 years but could not make any progress. The incumbent government wants to highlight this during the elections. Therefore, the airport project has to be complete by 2019," said a person who is privy to project-related developments.
22/04/18 Sudhir Suryawanshi/DNA

‘Duty Free’ Shops At Delhi International Airport Liable To Pay GST

International passengers buying goods at airport ‘duty-free’ shops in New Delhi will have to pay Goods and Services Tax, with the Authority for Advance Ruling saying such outlets at the Delhi International Airport is not ‘free from duties’ under the new indirect tax regime.

In the earlier regime of excise and service tax prior to GST roll out on July 1, 2017, the duty-free shops were exempt from the levy of central sales tax and value added tax as sale from such shops were considered as exports and supplies were taking place beyond the ‘customs frontiers’ of India.

The New Delhi bench of the AAR in a recent ruling has held that the supply of goods to the international passengers going abroad from ‘duty free’ shops may be taking place beyond the customs frontiers of India under Integrated GST Act, but the said shops are within the territory of India under the Central GST Act.

The ruling was in response to an application filed by Rod Retail Private Ltd. which runs a retail outlet at Terminal 3 (International Departure), Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi.
22/04/18 PTI/Bloomberg Quint

French delegation visits MIHAN project

Delegates of France appreciated the infrastructure created at Multimodal International Hub Airport Nagpur (MIHAN) and hoped that companies in France are willing to invest in India and particularly in Nagpur too.
A business delegate from France visited MIHAN project recently. The delegation include the members of French Aerospace Industries Association called, “GIFAS”. Michel Paskoff, Director General, Industrialization of Dassault Aviation and Bertrand Lucereau, President of GIFAS SME’s led the delegation.

Daniel CHAFFRAIX, EVP, North America and India, ALTRAN, while talking with MADC officials said that “He is impressed by infrastructure development in MIHAN. Nagpur has all the potential to develop as an Aviation and Aerospace Hub very soon.”

The delegation also saw all the prominent companies in MIHAN and visited TAL industry, DRAL, link Taxiway and the project site of Turgis and Gilliard, an aerospace industry coming up soon in MIHAN.

The program was jointly hosted by Maharashtra Airport Development Company Ltd. (MADC), Office of the Development Commissioner, MIHAN SEZ and Dassault Reliance Aerospace Ltd. (DRAL). The delegates were welcomed in Indian Traditional way at the entrance of Central Facility Building in MIHAN. The delegation includes the CEOs and officials of Aerospace Companies of France namely, AAA, Altran, Axon, Dedienne Aerospace, Finaero, Gaches Chimie, Paris Saint-Denis Aero, Secamic, Segula, Trigo, Weare AEROSPACE etc. and was coordinated by DASSAULT Aviation, France, the manufacturer of world famous defence aircraft RAFALE and high end FALCON family business jets.

At the outset Suresh Kakani, VC&MD of MADC and S. S. Das, ITS, Development Commissioner, MIHAN SEZ welcomed all the delegates with floral bouquets and a memento.
22/04/18 Hitavada

Drone delight: Imagination takes flight as model aircraft create a good buzz

New Delhi: Amid the grey of impending rain, there were flashes of colour in the sky over IIT Delhi on Saturday. And amid the constant drone of model aircraft, fingers deftly juggled the radio control though the eyes were firmly fixed on the flying objects flying high at the 5th Boeing-IIT National Aeromodelling Competition, which had 1,281 participants representing over 250 institutions.
According to Boeing, the international aircraft manufacturing giant that organised the event, there was a “substantive increase in the number of participants from last year and the first ever participation of an international team from Iowa State University, USA”.
The pilots were on the ground, using 2.4 GHz radio transmitters. “The wind made it difficult to control the planes in the air but we somehow managed successfully,” beamed Keshav S, member of the IISc, Bengaluru, team.
Over 400 teams participated in the first round in the IIT zones of Kanpur, Madras, Kharagpur and Bombay. The top three teams from each zone came to Delhi. In the zonal round, the teams were asked to develop a model and keep it in flight for at least 20 seconds. In another stage, the aircraft had to carry a payload and put it down on a marked point and then pass through three obstacles. In the finals, the teams were asked to manoeuvre the planes through gates.
Keshav explained that his group used corrugated plastic and balsa wood because these are light and easy to control. In case of a crash, the students had adhesive tapes ready for repairs.
A four-member team from Chandigarh University won the first prize. Among institutional competitors from the IITs, IISc and the universities from Allahabad, Chandigarh and Nagpur, there were a couple of school students too. Syed Rayan, a Class XII student from Chennai, said living near an airbase had attracted him to aircraft. “I decided to make some model planes on my own,” he said. Rayan, who wants to become an engineer, learned the craft of making planes from the internet and used wood for his projects.
Another student, MP Abhilash, a Class XI student from Tiruchirappalli and the youngest participant in the event, said that he practised manoeuvres with a self-built plane on his school grounds while preparing for his first competition.
22/04/18 Mohammad Ibrar/Times of India

Indian airports get their first woman firefighter

New Delhi: The last all-male bastion of Indian aviation has fallen with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) appointing its first ever woman firefighter. The state-run authority currently has 3,310 firefighters at its airports as having fire service is a mandatory condition for planes to land anywhere.
Now, Kolkata girl Taniya Sanyal will, in a month, join their ranks after completing training that she is undergoing in the city. Considered a profession only for men, AAI till recently did not have recruitment norms for women firefighters.
“We were facing a shortage of firefighters due to expansion and new airports coming up. We brought in contemporary rules and decided to recruit women in this field which required criteria for physical standards. I had done similar rule changes in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for firefighters. We got hold of them and then set the standards for recruiting women firefighters. This is the first time a woman has joined our ranks in this field and it will continue now,” AAI chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra, who brought about this change, told TOI.

The physical standards for male firefighters were having a minimum height of about 1.6 metres and at least weigh 50 kg. The minimum weight for women firefighters was set at 40 kg and height norms were also reduced. While relaxing the norms, the work description for woman firefighters has been kept exactly the same.
Taniya Sanyal, who has done masters in Botany, has been appointed for AAI’s eastern region airports that include Kolkata, Patna, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Gaya and Ranchi. Once she completes her training at Kolkata firefighting centre, she will be working at one of these airports.
22/04/18 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

GoAir, Jet Airways, AirAsia Offer Discount On Flight Tickets On These Routes

Airlines are showering discounts on domestic and international flight tickets which can be easily availed from respective airline's website/app. GoAir is offering domestic flight tickets starting at an all-inclusive price of Rs. 1,304. While Jet Airways is offering 30 per cent discount on base fare in economy flights flying from India to select destinations in Europe. AirAsia India is offering up to 20 per cent discount on base fares of all domestic flight tickets. On international front, AirAsia is offering 60 per cent discount offer.

GoAir airline is offering domestic flight tickets starting at an all-inclusive price of Rs. 1,304 under its 'More destinations, Low Fare' offer. Customers willing to avail GoAir's special offer can book flight tickets till May 2, 2018.  Also an additional 10 per cent discount is available on bookings through GoAir app by using the code GOAPP10.

In another offer, the carrier is offering up to Rs. 2,000 value back on its domestic flight tickets under its 'Summer offer'. GoAir has partnered with ZoomCar, Xoxoday, Paytm and HDFC Bank to give the value back of up to Rs. 2,000 on domestic flight tickets. GoAir is giving maximum discount of up to Rs. 1,200 or 12 per cent whichever is lower on Zoomcar drive and Rs. 1000 discount on Xoxoday on a minimum purchase of Rs. 2,000. Under this offer, GoAir is offering 5 per cent cashback on payment via Paytm wallet. Also 10 per cent discount is available on booking through HDFC Bank debit and credit cards.

Jet Airways is offering 30 per cent discount on base fare in economy flights flying from India to select destinations in Europe. In order to avail this new promotional offer, one should book the tickets by April 30, 2018. The travel period of Jet Airways' special sale offer for outbound journey starts on October 10, 2018 and ends on December 15, 2018. For inbound journey, the travel period starts from January 15, 2019.

In another scheme, Jet Airways is also offering premiere flight  tickets at a starting price of Rs. 6,808 under its 'Book Early, Save More' promotional scheme. Tickets must be purchased a minimum of 30 days prior to departure in order to avail this scheme. Tickets are valid for 12 months from the date of commencement of journey.

AirAsia India is offering up to 20 per cent discount on base fares of all domestic flight tickets. Bookings for AirAsia India's discount offer are open till April 22, 2018. The travel period of AirAsia India's offer ends on October 31. AirAsia is also offering up to 60 per cent discount on base fares of all international flight tickets. An additional discount of up to 20 per cent is available on picking a seat during the flight booking on international route.
22/04/18 NDTV

Hyderabad: Consumer panel supports couple against Jet Airways

Hyderabad: A flight delay has cost Jet Airways a hefty sum. Jet Airways has been ordered to pay Nookala Lakshmikantha Reddy and Sudhatri Reddy, a couple residing in Vidyanagar, a lump sum as compensation by the airlines for deficiency of service.

The couple approached the consumer forum stating that delay caused by Jet Airways flight in Hyderabad cost them their connecting flight from Mumbai to Frankfurt, which in turn caused their entire travel itinerary to go for a toss. As per practice, if a passenger misses a connecting flight due to the mistake of the airline, the latter makes alternate flight arrangements as well as arranges for food, stay, assistance, etc.
The forum stated that the complainants suffered mental agony and trauma because of the airlines and therefore ruled in favour of the couple, stating that Rs 1,73,445 should be paid to the couple to cover their ticket cost and $1,902 dollars should also be paid to compensate for their Delta Air Lines tickets. Similarly, an amount of Rs 50,000 has been awarded as compensation and Rs 5,000 towards costs.
22/04/18 Deccan Chronicle

Ayaan’s ‘heart bleeds’ after airlinecasually handles sarod at airport

Pune: Sarod player and composer Ayaan Ali Bangash, the younger son of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, expressed anguish at the way his sarod was mishandled at the airport on Friday morning.
After boarding a Jet Airways flight (9W366) from Pune to Delhi, Ayaan was shocked to see his sarod being taken into the flight carelessly by a ground staff of the airline. He tweeted around 11am, “Very sad to see my sarod in this state at Pune airport after making it clear to Jet Airways that it’s a fragile item and they still place it upside down. #sad #instrumentbleeds #heartbleeds,” his tweet read.
Ayaan shared a picture with the tweet showing the instrument upside down over a few suitcases in a trolley near the aircraft.
Ayaan told TOI through a statement, “I was in Pune for an event last (Thursday) evening and took the morning flight to Delhi. I had clearly stated, as always, at the check-in counter that my sarod is a fragile item and needs special handling. As I boarded I just happened to see my sarod being taken in the regular manner on top of suitcases, that too upside down. It’s sad.”
He said in the statement, “I hope and pray that we have rules for special handling of musical instruments that are so precious and are a part of our cultural legacy. It’s very sad to see it kept as baggage! Most airlines, including Jet Airways, are usually very compassionate towards our request for taking care in handling instruments. I hope that I don’t see any instrument kept in this manner like today (Friday) ever again!”
A spokesperson of the airline said, “A guest arrived in Delhi by the Jet Airways flight 9W 0366 from Pune with the musical instrument sarod, marked as fragile checked-in baggage. Due to adjustments that had to be made in the cargo hold, the item with a few other checked-in pieces had to be kept aside for a very short time. The Jet Airways team immediately reached out to the guest and offered their apologies, which was accepted by the guest. The team responsible for cargo related activities has been instructed to take special care to avoid such incidents in the future.”
22/04/18 Times of India

Days after Indigo fiasco, Twinkle takes a jab at mosquito menace

Twinkle Khanna’s acerbic wit has found a new target. On Friday afternoon, the actorproducer-columnist took a shot at the growing menace of mosquitoes inside flights, with her tongue firmly in cheek.

“Airlines taking off from Mumbai-Instead of the life vest could you please put a tube of Odomos under the seat-Killed 7 mosquitoes before buckling in this morning-Odds of dying due to dengue may be higher than drowning:)” she tweeted, presumably after boarding a flight from the Mumbai airport. She did not name any airline.
The tweet instantly went viral; it had 435 re-tweets and 4,433 likes by Saturday evening.
Actor Sophie Chaudhry tweeted that she, too, suffered through a mosquito menace on a recent Delhi. She said the airline brought in a fly-swatter resembling a tennis racquet, but that was barely effective. “As soon as the racquet was taken off the plane, the blood suckers came out again! Urgh!” she tweeted.
Khanna’s tweet came on the heels of two incidents that have sparked a debate over airlines’ inability to contain the mosquito menace in flights. On April 9, a Lucknow-based vascular surgeon, Dr Saurav Rai, was de-boarded by Indigo after he allegedly complained of mosquitoes in the plane and asked for a repellent cream or spray. Indigo denied Dr Rai’s charge, claiming that he used the word “hijack” and terrorised passengers. A day later, a video showing many Jet Airways passengers swatting mosquitoes at the Lucknow airport did the rounds of social media.
Sudhakara Reddy, national president of the Air Passengers Association of India, said as per the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s regulations, airlines have to regularly fumigate flights to keep out mosquitoes and insects. “Perhaps, it should make this mandatory for airlines in light of recent incidents.”
22/04/18  Satish Nandgaonkar/Mumbai Mirror

Ministry of Defence nod to airport expansion work

Pune: The ministry of defence has given work the sanction order to the Airports Authority of India to carry out the expansion work at the Lohegaon airport.
The defence estates officer (DEO), Rajendra Pawar, who had forwarded a proposal to the ministry in February, told TOI, “As per the procedures, this sanction was mandatory for carrying out the work.”
The office of the Principal Director, Defence Estates, Southern Command, had forwarded a proposal to the ministry recommending that 15.84 acres of defence land be leased out to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to facilitate the expansion work.
Airport director Ajay Kumar said, “This is a positive development because we can expedite the work now. Our plan is to first complete the work of parking bays and then start the construction of the new terminal.”
The board of officers of the Indian Air Force (IAF) had categorically mentioned in its report that the cost of relocation or reconstruction of the existing assets in the area proposed for transfer would be borne by AAI. The total cost for the exercise is Rs 6.41 crore.
22/04/18 Sandip Dighe/Times of India

Laptops, Liquor Bottles Among 10,000 Articles Passengers Left Behind Most at IGI Airport

New Delhi: Leaving cell phones, sunglasses, keys or power banks behind in a rush to catch a flight is not uncommon at airports but the articles were forgotten also include expensive laptop and even liquor bottles.

The IGI airport reported almost 10,000 lost articles in 2017, and statistics show that electronic items and liquor comprised a major chunk of these items.
Dubai airport, among the top three busiest in the world, reported more than 1 lakh lost items in 2017, ranging from mobile phones to luxury watches to large amounts of cash.

So how does the IGI airport, the seventh busiest in Asia today and among the top 20 in the world, handle the lost articles.

According to Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), the airport operator, a new software has been put in place to make the handover process scientific and user-friendly, thus doing away with the age-old manual procedure.

The software has been developed and designed by DIAL with minimum human intervention and ensures there is no room for paperwork.
22/04/18 PTI/Pioneer

‘Suresh Prabhu must back Mopa claim with nos’

Panaji: Goans for Dabolim Only, a voluntary organisation, on Saturday said that civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu should disclose figures to back up his claim that the Dabolim airport will not be closed down for civilian flights once the Mopa airport is commissioned.
Convener Eremito Rebelo said that figures convey a totally different narrative, and expert reports by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the ADPI, a French airport firm, clearly state that one airport is the best solution for Goa. He pointed out the irony of Prabhu’s plan to transport local produce of Goan families to international markets while the state government is urbanising Goa to such an extent that Goa has to import farm produce from neighbouring states for its own consumption.
22/04/18 Times of India

Air passengers get a kick in their shins from booze not bought

Thiruvananthapuram: Consider yourself lucky if you decided not to walk into the funky duty-free shop at the Trivandrum International Airport during your last overseas travel. Here's what you know: You've saved a few bucks by not buying the booze. Here's what you don't know: The shop may have purchased it using your documents and sold it in the black market. Puzzled? Well...Customs Commissioner Sumit Kumar recently suspended the licence of Plus Max after it was found the duty-free shop allegedly used the passport details of nearly 13,000 international passengers who travelled through the airport from September to December 2017 to divert the foreign liquor to the black market.

The act has raised serious questions about the safety of passengers’ travel documents, including passport. A senior Customs officer said the shop's act showed how vulnerable the system is. What's more, he expressed concern the details it collected could even be used for anti-national activities! The officers said they found the private firm managed to avoid paying `6 crore as duty by illegally diverting foreign liquor to the local black market.

It is a serious criminal offence under the Indian Penal Code, they said. International passengers who disembark at the airport can purchase up to two litres of foreign liquor at tax-free rate from the duty-free shop. All the passengers need to do is show their passports and air tickets at the shop. It is suspected the staff at the outlet used the passport details of the passengers who did not purchase liquor to divert large quantities of it. The Customs is also probing the role of airport director George G Tharakan in the alleged scam as he was reluctant to cooperate with the enforcement agencies, said the officers. However, Tharakan said neither the Airport Authority of India nor its staff has any connection with the incident. It's a private firm and if there are any discrepancies in their sales records, they are liable to answer. The airport authorities have no role in the matter, he said.

Meanwhile, it is learnt the Customs is set to swoop down on duty-free shops at the Madurai and Visakhapatnamairports which are managed by the same company. The officers also said once the scale of the fraud at the Trivandrum Airport is assessed, it would register a case against the accused under various provisions of the Customs Act 1962. The Excise Department had shut down the duty-free shop of the same company at the Pune airport last year.
The Customs officers had closed down the duty-free shop at the airport after unearthing large-scale irregularitiesrelated to the illegal sale of imported liquor last December.Following this, the company moved the court challenging the Customs' decision.In 2012, the CISF guarding the airport also allegedly busted a racket that profited from illegal diversion of foreignliquor from the duty-free shop of the airport for sale in the local black market.
22/04/18  Dhinesh Kallungal/New Indian Express

Foreigner caught at IGI with Rs 35 lakh drugs

New Delhi: A woman foreign national was arrested at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport by CISF officials for trying to smuggle drugs worth around Rs 35 lakh, by concealing them inside plastic rolls.
While the woman from Zimbabwe tried to give the security agencies a slip by leaving her bag behind and changing clothes in the washroom, CISF personnel intercepted her after she came out of the washroom. She was handed over to the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) with the seized drugs.
CISF officials said the incident was detected at 11.45pm on Friday, when Blessing Munetsi came for screening to board a flight to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. One of her bags looked suspicious. Officials said the bag was then physically checked, which revealed almost 40 plastic rolls. By this time Munetsi slipped away and headed to the nearest washroom to change her clothes.
“She realised that the bag was found to be suspicious and the drugs will be discovered on the plastic rolls she was carrying. Each roll had nearly 200gram of a substance, which tested positive for pseudoephedrine after being checked by a narcotic drug detection kit. Though the passenger went to the washroom, her movement was tracked by CCTV surveillance and she was immediately taken into custody,” said a senior CISF official.
22/04/18 Jasjeev Gandhiok/Times of India

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Jet Airways’ 4 ‘CFM56-7B’ engines to undergo inspection post SouthWest Airlines incident

Jet Airways today said four engines of its planes would be inspected to check fan blade issues following safety directives issued by American and European regulators in the wake of the Southwest Airlines incident where an engine blew up mid-air. The full service carrier also said the inspections would not affect its flight schedule. Earlier this week, a CFM56-7B engine of Southwest Airlines’ Boeing 737 aircraft had blown mid-air.

Jet Airways operates 83 Boeing 737 planes with CFM56-7B engines. It has been operating B737 aircraft for almost 25 years. An airline spokesperson said it has received the latest Emergency Airworthiness Directives from the FAA and the EASA. These directives mandate an inspection of all fan blades of any engine that has accumulated 30,000 flight cycles or greater. “Jet Airways has commenced the required comprehensive checks to ensure full compliance of the directives within the stipulated period of 20 days. “The airline has four engines that are impacted by the directive with one already in scheduled maintenance. “As the impact to Jet Airways is low, the inspections are not expected to cause any disruption to the airline’s published schedule and will be conducted well in advance of the stipulated timeline,” the spokesperson said.

Air India and SpiceJet also operate Boeing 737 planes with these engines. An Air India spokesperson declined to comment on the issue. “We have no engines in our fleet which have completed 30,000 cycles. All directions from CFM are being complied with,” a SpiceJet spokesperson said.
21/04/18 Financial Express

Fear of flying: When passengers on SpiceJet's Delhi-Kolkata flight were harassed and threatened by crew

New Delhi: Passengers travelling from Delhi to Kolkata on Wednesday on board Spicejet’s SG253 experienced a harrowing flying experience and they reached their destination 5 hours since the scheduled time of departure. Worse the air-conditioning wasn’t working, the flight crew ignored their pleas and when passengers protested, the crew brought back the plane to the bay.The flight was to take off at 1850 hrs from IGI airport and eventually took off at 2150 hrs and passengers reached their destination at 2345 hrs. What happened between 1850 hrs and 2150 hrs was certainly not what the passengers expected from an airline that had slowly and steadily been vying to be the top choice of fliers in this country.

One of the passengers on the flight told Times Now that the passengers had boarded the aircraft well before the scheduled take-off time. At that time the aircraft was “hot as hell”, the passenger said “several fliers questioned the staff about the air conditioning but the staff did not provide any answers. On receiving no assurance from the flight crew, passengers flagged their misery. Meanwhile, the aircraft was pushed from the bay for a take-off, the air conditioning was still not working and an argument between some passengers and the crew took a heated turn. Hearing the ruckus the captain, instead of ensuring that the air conditioning was turned on, brought the aircraft back to the bay. Passengers on board say that the move was not aimed at rectifying the air conditioning but to offload those who were raising their voice. At 1946 hrs, 76 minutes after the scheduled departure time, one of India’s best known Olympian shooter and Arjuna Awardee -- Joydeep Karmakar -- who was onboard the Spicejet flight, took to Twitter.
The ordeal for the passengers didn’t end there. Flyers who witnessed the fracas say that once the aircraft reached the bay the doors were opened and the ladder was put in place. One of the passengers said that the crew wanted a passenger to be offloaded for “rude behaviour”. While the passengers were insisting that the crew and the airline were at fault for not extending the basic courtesy of switching on the air conditioning on a hot summer Delhi evening. As the stalemate continued in the aircraft Bay Area an alarmed group of CISF personnel put an informal cordon around the aircraft to ensure that the passengers who have checked in do not spill out.
Joydeep took to Twitter again explaining that The conditions inside the aircraft were suffocating and several passengers were experiencing nausea. He tweeted again. This time at 2002 hrs.
By this time the passengers were trapped inside for almost 2 hrs without air conditioning and proper ventilation.  The argument continued with some passengers inside the aircraft and some passengers outside.
Sources at the IGI airport confirmed to Times Now that there was a major confrontation between the passengers and the crew members at the IGI airport when the aircraft was brought back. The crew members of Spicejet, according to sources insisted on offloading a few passengers who protested before resuming the flight to Kolkata.  This is a video sent by a passenger to Times Now
The matter finally was resolved due to a strong nudge by the CISF personnel. The captain of the flight agreed to take off yet again, without any passenger being offloaded. Passengers on the flight say that the air conditioning was switched on once the compromise was reached.
This is not where the trauma of the passengers ended. Spicejet forced yet another delay by throwing the rule book at them. By the time all passengers went back to their seats, the existing crew had exceeded the duty time and hence another crew was called in, which further delayed the flight. The passengers who had to reach their destination around 2100 hours had to sit in the aircraft only for around 3 hours before the flight could take off.
21/04/18 Heena Gambhir/Times Now

Kerala: Domestic air traffic makes rapid strides

Thiruvananthapuram:  Riding high on expatriates toiling in West Asia, whose remittances have been a big boost to the state's economy, airports in Kerala have been catering to more international than domestic passengers. But the state is set to witness a dramatic turnaround with domestic traffic making rapid strides and on the verge of overtaking international passenger volume.

Last fiscal's statistics from Cochin International Airport and Trivandrum International Airport show that they have narrowed down the gap between domestic and international passengers to about 47:53 and it is expected that domestic traffic will begin within a year or two.

The trend in Kerala's airports was in sharp contrast to the passenger break-up at Delhi and Mumbai airports where domestic passengers outnumber those going overseas.

When it comes to Cochin International Airport, out of the 1 crore passengers who travelled through the airport last fiscal, 52 lakh were international passengers and 48 lakh were domestic travellers. Domestic passenger traffic registered a 22 per cent increase from the previous fiscal, while international traffic grew by just four per cent.

Of the 44 lakh passengers who passed through Trivandrum airport last fiscal, 56 per cent were international, while 44 per cent were domestic travellers. In 2016-17, the break-up was 65 and 35 per cent, respectively. The growth rate was 22 per cent in domestic and 8 per cent in international passengers, giving ample evidence that domestic traffic is on the verge of surpassing international traffic at the state's two major airports.

But at Calicut International Airport, overseas traffic still holds considerable sway as the growth was almost at a par with domestic traffic last fiscal. The number of overseas passengers rose from 22 lakh to 26 lakh, while domestic travellers increased from 4.3 lakh to 5.1 lakh.

According to Trivandrum airport director George G Tharakan, the growth in domestic traffic has been high in recent years and the time is not far away when domestic passengers will outnumber international ones in Kerala.
21/04/18 Dhinesh Kallungal/New Indian Express

‘Road map for manufacture of commercial planes soon’

Aurangabad: The Indian government is preparing a road map for the manufacture of commercial aircraft and drones in the country in order to stem the drain of foreign exchange, to become self-reliant and to create high-value jobs, said Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Commerce, Industry and Civil Aviation at a briefing here.

“Indian carriers have placed orders for over 1,000 commercial aircraft worth ₹10 lakh crore with foreign companies,” the minister said on the occasion of a ground breaking ceremony of a smart industrial city close to Aurangabad. “We see huge potential in manufacture of aircraft in the country to meet the demand. We are preparing a road map,” he said.

“Our objective is to manufacture aircraft and drones in India. A task force had been set up under Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha for preparing a report and road map for manufacture of drones. The market for drones is estimated at $1 trillion and we must be [present] in this segment,” Mr. Prabhu said.

The government, under the ‘Make in India’ programme, aims to capitalise on the ‘enormous potential of these two sectors’.

Even though 1,000 planes have been ordered by Indian airlines, more than 6,000 aircraft would be required in India by 2050, as per estimates by aviation consulting firms. “If Brazil can develop viable aircraft manufacturing programmes, India also can. India must try for it and it is desirable,” said Kapil Kaul, director and CEO, South Asia, Centre of Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

The focus must be to develop an ecosystem for capable and viable technology that can be relevant for the next 3-4 decades, he said. “There is demand in the aviation sector and India must aspire [to] manufacture aircraft. It is a valid aspiration,” Mr. Kaul said.

Mr. Prabhu added the aircraft and drone manufacturing units could come up at the industrial cities including at the Aurangabad Industrial City (AURIC), which is coming up on the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor.

“Drone manufacturing can create 1,50,000 jobs and we are very serious about this sector,” Mr. Prabhu said.
21/04/18 Lalatendu Mishra/The Hindu

Getting rid of the albatross

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat recently said: “Air India should be handed over to anyone who can run it efficiently. The new operator must be an Indian player.” The good thing here is that Bhagwat, unlike many others, is at least open to the idea of the government selling Air India. The bad thing is that under the current terms of sale none of the Indian airline companies will be interested in buying Air India.

Under the current terms, the government wants to sell 76 per cent of Air India, 100 per cent of Air India Express, the low-cost arm of Air India, and 50 per cent of SATS, a gateway solution and food services provider. Basically, the government wants to sell Air India as a single entity, which no Indian airline company seems to be interested in buying. IndiGo, SpiceJet and Jet Airways have already expressed their inability.

Let’s start with IndiGo. IndiGo has a 39.7 per cent share in India’s domestic airline business. Given that, it is but logical that the airline is not interested in the domestic business of Air India. Air India has a 13.2 per cent market share.

In fact, Aditya Ghosh, the president of IndiGo, recently said: “From day one, IndiGo has expressed its interest primarily in the acquisition of Air India’s international operations and Air India Express. However, that option is not available under the government’s current divestiture plans for Air India.”

This makes immense sense for an airline which dominates the domestic skies and is looking to expand internationally. Air India has 2,543 international landing slots negotiated with many countries, over the years. Air India has 17 per cent market share in international flights originating from India and coming to India.

Given that it is a low-cost airline, IndiGo would be specifically interested in buying Air India Express, which primarily services the Indian diaspora in the Middle East.

Ghosh further said: “Also, as we have communicated before, we do not believe that we have the capability to take on the task of acquiring and successfully turning around all of Air India’s airline operations.” What this tells us is that Ghosh is not willing to take on the risk of buying Air India as a whole and taking on 18,000 employees affiliated to strong employee unions, and who have never worked in the private sector, though he is interested in buying a part of it.

Along similar lines, Jet Airways, which had a 16.8 per cent share in the domestic business, is also not interested in buying Air India. Jet Airways’ deputy chief executive officer told the PTI: “Considering the terms of the offer in the information memorandum and based on our review, we are not participating in the process.”

Jet Airways, is not in a strong position financially to buy Air India. Nevertheless, like IndiGo, Jet Airways may also be interested in the international business of Air India. Jet has an international presence and in 2016-2017, its revenues from international operations stood at Rs 12,396 crore, which was around 35 per cent more than its revenues from domestic operations.

Media reports suggest that the Tata Group is not interested in Air India either. Having owned the airline once upon a time, before it was nationalised, it has been speculated for long that the Tatas have always been interested in buying the airline for nostalgic reasons. But that hasn’t turned out to be the case given that the Tatas have investments in two airlines operating in India – AirAsia and Vistara.

AirAsia and Vistara together have 7.9 per cent share in the domestic Indian market. If the domestic business of Air India were to be sold separately, the Tatas might just be interested, given that Air India, despite its fall over the years, still has over 13 per cent market share.

The thing is we will never know whether the Indian airline companies are interested in buying Air India, unless the government goes ahead and offers different businesses of Air India, for sale, separately. Over and above this, the airline which buys Air India needs to take on two-thirds of its debt. As of March 31, 2017, the total debt of Air India was at Rs 48,447 crore. Two-thirds of this works out to Rs 32,298 crore or around $5 billion (assuming $1 = Rs 65). No Indian airline company is currently in a position to take on such a huge amount of debt. This debt can even bring down a profitable airline. Even international airlines will think twice before taking on such a huge amount of debt.
21/04/18 Vivek Kaul/DNA

Number of passengers on city-Delhi flight reduced

Ludhiana: As the height of many trees on the southern side of the Sahnewal airport has crossed 100 feet, and due to high temperature, airport authorities have decided to decrease the number of passengers in flights from Ludhiana to Delhi. The authorities have asked the district administration about the issue for the safety of passengers.
Confirming a decrease of passengers on the Ludhiana-Delhi flight, Sahnewal airport terminal manager Mahesh Babbar said the number of passengers in the flight was decreased to 44 in the 77-seater Air India flight due to technical issues, but the number of passengers in the Delhi-Ludhiana flight remained 70.
Airport officials said even as the capacity of the flight remained 70, the number of passengers that can travel in it has been decreased due to several reasons. They added that there are around 60 trees (mainly eucalyptus) on the southern side (towards Jugiana) that have crossed a height of 100 feet, which makes it risky for pilots at the time of take-off. Besides, due to high temperature (which effects pressure at the time of take-off) in summer, the load of flights is decreased due to certain technical issues.
Officiating airport director Amardeep Nehra said they had written to the district administration about the issue, after which the forest department conducted a survey of trees and got them pruned on the Sahnewal side. But apart from trees, as they are also railway lines, private houses, and electric lines on the other side, they would have to get an approval from higher authorities to get the pruning done.
21/04/18 Shariq Majeed/Times of India

Boeing conducts aeromodelling competition

Boeing, in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), conducted the finals for the fifth annual Boeing-IIT national aeromodelling competition, which saw participation from 1281 students from over 250 institutes nationwide.

The competition saw many “firsts” in its five year history, including participation from an international team from Iowa State University (USA), as well as a significant increase in the participation from schools and female aero-models.

As an aerospace leader, Boeing has been investing in educating and inspiring the next generation of engineering talent in India. The aero-modelling competition aims to nurture, recognize and reward talented aerospace enthusiasts and innovators in the country.

“Competitive aero-modelling requires multi-disciplinary skills, which is a great way to draw young minds to aerospace,” said Pratyush Kumar, president, Boeing India, adding “through this competition, we want to inspire students to experience the joy of aviation and strive to become future aerospace engineers. We are excited to see the tremendous response that the competition has attracted in the last five years”.

Prof P.V.M. Rao, head, department of design, IIT Delhi, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Boeing in developing an ecosystem from students from all engineering disciplines, so that they can channelise their creative energy into reimagining avionics of the future.”
21/04/18 Sunday Guardian

In a first, IAF conducts special operations over country's highest dam

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) for the first time carried out duck drops, a parachute operation, of military boats and special forces over the country's highest dam for drills to use waterbodies to infiltrate into enemy territory and launch attacks on their bases.

The reservoir of the Tehri dam in Uttarakhand was used for the exercise by the Air Forces sword arm western air command for simulating a waterbody acting as a border between India and its neighbouring countries, like the Pangong lake on the India-China border.

During the war game, the Air Force used its C-130J Super Hercules from the Hindon airbase which first dropped a rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) followed by a team of Garud commandos who used the waterbody to launch attacks on enemy bases to make inroads into their areas, government sources said.

In the largest ever war games conducted by the IAF Gagan Shakti almost half the effort has been put in by the western air command, which covers areas from Siachen glacier with Pakistan and Eastern Ladakh in the north to the western deserts in Rajasthan.

During the war games conducted close to the borders with China, the command extensively used its fleet for rapid deployment of troops from one valley to another.

In one such drill on Thursday, a fleet of eight Mi-17V5 medium-lift helicopters was used to rapidly deploy troops close to the Nyoma airbase, a few kilometres from China border in Ladakh and Tangste valley at an altitude of 13,500 feet, the sources said.
21/04/18 Ajit Kumar Dubey/India Today

Cairn Vedanta deploys drones to monitor pipelines

New Delhi: The use of drones in India seems to finally be moving past the recreational uses by individuals and surveillance by law enforcers and towards real business applications, such as Cairn Vedanta’s use of unmanned drones to survey its hard-to-reach oil and gas pipelines.

In an interview to The Hindu, Cairn Vedanta Oil and Gas’s Chief Operating Officer Suniti Bhat said the company was moving towards using drones as they were much cheaper, more effective, safer and saved more time than using helicopters or foot patrols.

“Ensuring safety and security of the pipeline has always been the biggest challenge for pipeline operators,” Ms. Bhat said. “Statistics suggest that approximately 60-70% of pipeline incidents are caused by third-party intrusion activities and so, a continuous or periodic surveillance of the right of use is the most effective deterrent for such activities.”
“[With drones] technology has offered an opportunity for a quantum jump in the quality and effectiveness of surveillance,” Ms. Bhat added. “We are perhaps the first company in India in the upstream sector to shift from a conventional approach for pipeline surveillance like foot patrols or line walks, periodic helicopter surveys, etc, to technology-driven drone... systems.

“In recent times, with the growing need for automation and technology, various industries have explored ways in which UAV technology can be implemented for operational excellence,” she explained. “In various forums, many oil and gas companies… requested the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for their help in obtaining approvals and guidelines from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.”
21/04/18 T.C.A. Sharad Raghavan/The Hindu

Israel‘s El Al appeals towards Air India flights over Saudi

Jerusalem: Israel‘s El Al airline said it appealed on Wednesday to the Supreme Court to cancel the authorisation of direct flights between New Delhi and via Saudi airspace.

The Indian carrier began using the new route on March 22, reducing flight times between the two cities by more than two hours.

Saudi Arabia had previously banned flights over its territory bound for Israel, a country with which Riyadh has no official diplomatic relations.

Saudi Arabia has so far not allowed Israeli carriers to use its airspace, and El Al says it is the victim of unfair competition.

“The State of Israel does not understand the extent of the damage caused by the government,” said El Al CEO Gonen Usishkin.

“Today it is India, tomorrow it will be Thailand and all the east. It is impossible to assess the damage caused by this decision for the company‘s 6,000 employees.”

El Al flights bound for India currently take a detour along the Red Sea to avoid Saudi and Iranian airspace.

The new air link between Tel Aviv and New Delhi was announced in July last year by Indian Prime Minister and his Israeli counterpart , but it was not until January that the pair suggested it might use Saudi airspace.
21/04/18 Derby Journal

Direct flights to Bahrain from May

Bengaluru: Come May and you can fly direct to Bahrain from the city. Gulf Air will commence operations to Bahrain starting May 1. The airline, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, will be the only one to offer daily connectivity seven days a week on the route.
With the commencement of flights, Bengaluru will become the eighth Indian city to connect to Bahrain. Bengaluru will become the second destination in the state after Mangaluru to operate a flight to Bahrain.
The Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) had listed Bahrain as one of the international destinations in its summer schedule. The summer schedule commenced on March 25, 2018 and will be in effect until October 27, 2018. The operations of flights between the two cities comes after nearly eight years. Gulf Air had earlier operated flights till 2010.
With direct flights to Bahrain, KIA now connects 22 international destinations (20 direct and two connecting).
This is the second new international carrier to start operations from Bengaluru in the last six months. Since December 2017, Malindo Air has been operating flights from KIA to Kuala Lumpur twice each week.
21/04/18 Hemanth C S/Bangalore Mirror

Flyer dies after cardiac arrest

Pune: A sexagenarian passenger suffered a at the city’s and was later declared brought dead at a private hospital at on Thursday noon.
Siddhi Kumar Verma had a heart attack when he was sitting in a wheel chair near his son who was standing in a queue at the boarding pass counter. Verma had abdominal mass and was flying GoAir to Delhi for further treatment.

“The medical team at the airport provided first aid to the passenger before he was rushed to Paras-HMRI hospital in an ambulance,” an airport official said.

Paras-HMRI’s medical superintendent Dr said doctors at the airport tried to revive him through emergency cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but he died by the time he reached the hospital’s ICU.
21/04/18 Kaplan Herald

IAF exercise gives g-force thrill to flyers taking off from Kolkata

Kolkata: The biggest military exercise in recent times involving the () has thrown up some collateral benefits. , currently underway in the northern and eastern skies, has unwittingly provided many flyers from the city a dizzying g-force rush.
Since Tuesday, the day Gaganshakti began in the Kolkata Flight Information Region (FIR), Mumbai- and Delhi-bound flights taking off from the city airport during sorties have had to go into a steeper-than-usual climb immediately after take-off, giving flyers a little of the vertiginous thrill many actively seek in amusement park rides.

The exercise in Kolkata FIR — which includes IAF bases at Kalaikunda, Barrackpore, Panagarh, Purnea, Bagdogra, Hashimara, Jorhat, Tezpur and Gorakhpur — will continue till Friday. Large chunks of airspace that are usually free for flights have been reserved by IAF for this operation. This is why flights are having to do a steeper climb.

“Flights departing during the exercise have been asked to climb to 25,000ft within 50 nautical miles (92km) against the usual ascent of 10,000ft at 25 nautical miles (46km). This has neccessitated a steeper climb,” explained an airline captain.

While restrictions are routinely imposed around Kalaikunda during sorties all year round, Gaganshakti has led to restrictions around Jamshedpur, Purnea, Bagdogra, Sikkim and the , including Arunachal Pradesh.

The south is not affected by the exercise that involves more than 1,100 figher jets, transport planes and helicopters apart from 300 officers and 1,500 airmen. The first phase of the exercise began on April 10 and focused on the western border with Pakistan. This is phase two, with the focus on the north-eastern border with China.
21/04/18 Kaplan Herald

IAF conducts mass casualty evacuation drill from Assam to Kolkata

Kolkata: The Eastern Air Command (EAC) of the Indian Air Force conducted a mass casualty evacuation drill on March 19, as part of Gagan Shakti 2018 exercises.

It was conducted from Air Force Station Chabua in Assam to Netaji Subhash International Airport in Kolkata and further on to Command Hospital (Eastern Command), Alipore by road.

About 45 ‘bedridden’ patients arrived at Kolkata by two Antonov-32 aircraft that landed in the middle of the night.

With the medical teams already waiting, the patients were offloaded and after preliminary procedures, swiftly transferred to the ambulances. The ambulances moved in a convoy to the Command Hospital through a ‘Green Corridor’, which had been prepared in coordination with Kolkata Police.

EAC Principal Medical Officer Air Vice Marshal RC Das stated that such an exercise serves as a practise for the Air Warriors to prepare for a real-time war situation or natural calamities like earthquake where the road link is wrecked and transportation by other modes become non-functional. The air route then remains the sole means of support and evacuation.

The distance of 25 km from the airport to Command Hospital was covered in 40 minutes and the exercise went through as planned. Various high ranking officers of the IAF were involved to ensure the flawless conduct of the exercise.

With this demonstration, the IAF has proven its flexibility and quick response in carrying out mass casualty evacuations. This capability could also be utilised by the IAF in case of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations near the incident locations by landing on select roads or designated highways.
21/04/18 ANI/India

Odisha: Terminal connect plan sends Biju Patnaik International Airport on a high

Bhubaneswar: Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) is on a high. After recording a 40.2 per cent increase in footfall in 2017-18 financial year and a steady rise in flight operations, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has decided to construct a state-of-the-art building which would connect Terminal 1 (T1) with Terminal 2 (T2) to reduce passenger transfer. The two-storey building will have best of facilities for travellers including shopping complexes. The AAI has already approved the plan for constructing the building between T1 and T2, BPIA Director Suresh Chandra Hota told The Express on Friday.

The airport’s T1 is for domestic operations, while T2 facility is for international facilities. To make passengers’ visit hassle-free, BPIA has planned to schedule all international flight arrival at the new building which will be the link building between T1 and T2. Departure of international flights, however, will continue from T2.
“The AAI has approved the plan and tender process has been initiated. We are expecting construction of the building to be completed within one and a half years at a cost of about `60 crore,” Hota said.

The shopping facility on the ground floor of the building will include provision of duty-free liquor. Besides shopping facility, baggage claims and customs facilities will be set up in the ground floor. The second floor of the building will have immigration facilities and a new aero-bridge will be connected with it.

The passengers using the aero-bridge can approach both the terminals (T1 and T2). Passengers coming from another city of the country to board an international flight from Bhubaneswar can use the aero-bridge and approach T2. BPIA, at present, has two aero-bridges and they are connected with T1. Hota also informed that the Air Traffic Control (ATC) will be shifted from the old building to a new three-storey building. “Both ATC and Communication, Navigation and Surveillance will be shifted to the three-storey building and the work has already commenced,” he said.
21/04/18 Ashis Mehta/New Indian Express

Orango launches digital advertising at Srinagar Airport

Srinagar: The facility was Saturday launched by the Srinagar Airport director Sharad Kumar and director Orango Solutions, Navneet Singh, who handles five northern India Airports.
Orango Solution has, for the first, launched out of home digital advertising at the Srinagar Airport.
The facility was Saturday launched by the Srinagar Airport director Sharad Kumar and director Orango Solutions, Navneet Singh, who handles five northern India Airports.
“Both the conveyor belts at the airport have digital video wall television. It is a matter of pride that perhaps its India first digital conveyor belt which has been installed at Srinagar International Airport following the global trends of digital medium,” a spokesperson of the Orango said.
21/04/18 Greater Kashmir

DRI seizes imported sesame seeds worth Rs 4.5 crore in Mundra

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Ahmedabad has seized imported sesame seeds of Rs 4.53 crores from an importer in Mundra.

Acting on a specific intelligence of an importer based at Deesa involved in the import of raw sesame seeds at Mundra port from Sudan without having the valid Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) licence, a search was carried out at the office and factory premises of the said importer.

During interrogation, the partner of the importer firm confessed that he knew that the FSSAI Licence was required for the import of raw sesame seeds. He admitted that they were importing sesame seeds without a licence from the Central Licensing authority as required under Food Safety and Standards (Imports) Regulations, 2017.

A total of ten containers of imported sesame seeds which were already customs cleared from Mundra port lying in their factory premises were seized.

Officers of DRI Gandhidham seized 24 more containers of sesame seeds which were awaiting customs clearance at Mundra port. Thus, a total of 34 containers containing approximately 612 MTS of raw sesame seeds of the declared value of Rs 4.53 crores imported have been seized by DRI, Ahmedabad.

This is the second seizure by DRI Ahmedabad in this week. Two days ago, the DRI had intercepted two passengers, carrying foreign currency worth Rs 25.25 lakhs and flying to Bangkok from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International airport (SVPI). Based on a specific intelligence about Ahmedabad based gold smuggling syndicate attempting to smuggle a huge amount of foreign currencies out of India to Bangkok, officials from DRI intercepted Parshottam Rajani and Rajkumar Tharwani, who was sent by the smuggling syndicate by SpiceJet Flight SG-85 on April 18.
21/04/18 DNA