Sunday, November 29, 2015

Safety and security standards of Indian aviation get thumbs up from United Nations body

India's aviation safety and security security has got a thumps up from the UN oversight body International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

In a recently done security audit by the ICAO, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, (BCAS) fully met the target of implementation of security norms thus steering clear from the threat of a possible downgrading of India's safety ranking.

ICAO carries out periodic audits of member countries and assesses their implementation of norms of security and safety measures in handling all areas of civil aviation security and safety including full ground handling at the airports, aerodromes, including the track record of companies involved, airlines and flight schedules and paths managed by the air traffic control (ATC) etc.

The audit done by ICAO in October this year certified that effective implementation of aviation security in India stands at respectable score of 99.23% while India's compliance of ICAO security requirements stands at 99.59%.

The ICAO team conducted audit of Indian civil aviation security and security at Delhi airport in October across nine audit areas including legislative and regulatory architecture, performance of security personnel, security training, catering services and ground handling etc.
29/11/15 Daily News & Analysis

SpiceJet offer: Special ‘red hot fares’ sale cuts ticket prices to AED 244

New Delhi: The latest Spicejet offer unveiled today has priced one-way tickets at a starting low of AED 244 (approx. Rs 4,438) base fare (statutory taxes applicable). In addition to the offer, Spicejet has announced that it will enhance its connectivity from Dubai to a host of Indian cities by increasing frequencies on multiple routes.
The new Spicejet offer celebrates UAE’s 44th National Day, the budget airline said in a statement. The offer is for outgoing direct flights from Dubai to Indian destinations served by SpiceJet.
The SPicejet offer with one-way base fares starting at AED 244 are for travel  from Dubai to Mumbai, Kochi and Kozhikode while base fares starting from AED 344 would be applicable for travel from Dubai to Delhi, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Madurai and Pune.
The Spicejet offer will be open from 29th November 2015 till 3rd December, 2015 midnight and the travel period covered in this sale is from 1st February to 29th October, 2016.
29/11/15 Financial Express

New Aviation Rules to Add Wings to Private Airlines

New Delhi The Ministry of Civil Aviation, in an attempt to simplify the process of buying aircraft, has decided to hand over powers to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to grant initial approval to private airlines for import or acquisition of aircraft
“The change of power is being made since DGCA was looking after the compliance of the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) regulated by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA),” said an official. “The current process was cumbersome as the requests for aircraft acquisitions were being handled by the ministry while DGCA was looking after CAR. The clearance was also time consuming as both agencies were involved,” he said. The Director General of Foreign Trade and Reserve Bank of India have been asked to amend the existing process while DGCA has been requested to make the necessary amendments to the CAR rules.
This decision is seen as a welcome move for the domestic carriers who are looking forward to expand their fleet in the fast growing aviation sector here. According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), India is projected to be the world’s third-largest aviation market by 2029.
29/11/15 Samiran Sarangi/New Indian Express

Jet airways Mumbai-Kuwait flight returns from taxiway after bomb threat

Mumbai: Minutes after a Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Kuwait began taxiing to the Mumbai runway for take off, it returned back to the bay after a passenger found a bomb threat message scribbled on a document onboard the aircraft. The incident happened on Saturday night.

The incident took place around 10.15pm, when the Jet flight 9 W 574 was pushed back for departure. "A passenger on board the flight was reading the safety instruction booklet, when he found a message scribbled on it. It said that there was a bomb onboard the flight," said an airline official.

The passenger alerted the cabin crew who in turn informed the commander of the flight. "The captain decided to take the aircraft back to the bay," the official added. The aircraft returned to the bay at 10.25pm. The CISF personnel and the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad were called in. The airline filed a police case in the matter.
29/11/15 Manju V/Times of India

SpiceJet plans more flights from Dubai to India

Dubai: SpiceJet on Sunday said it would operate more number of flights from here to various Indian cities.

Celebrating UAE's 44th National Day, the low cost carrier has announced special one-way ticket offers for its flights from Dubai, starting from base fare of AED 244 (over Rs 4,400).

The airline would enhance its connectivity from Dubai to a host of Indian cities by increasing frequencies on multiple routes, SpiceJet said in a statement.

"Dubai is SpiceJet's key international market. We will continue to increase our presence here. Our customers can expect many more flights and many more exciting offers in the coming months," the carrier's Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh said.
29/11/15 PTI/Daily News & Analysis

SpiceJet to choose between Boeing, Airbus for planes

Dubai: SpiceJet is in talks with Boeing and Airbus to buy more than 150 planes, the airline’s chairman said on Sunday, predicting he would decide which manufacturer to place the order with by the end of March 2016.

Such an investment would cap a remarkable turnaround for India’s second-biggest budget airline by market share, which came close to collapse late last year, after running out of cash.

SpiceJet co-founder Ajay Singh subsequently bought back into the airline, acquiring a controlling stake. SpiceJet has reported profits in the past three quarters, having made losses in the five preceding quarters.

Singh now wants to more than quadruple the carrier’s fleet from 41 aircraft at present.
“We are in the process of placing a large aircraft order; the airline will order in excess of 150 planes — we hope to do that in this financial year,” Singh, who is SpiceJet’s chairman and managing director, told a news conference here. Its financial year will end in March.
“We’re looking at both Airbus and Boeing. The (Boeing 737) Max aircraft as well as the (Airbus A320) Neo. We have received offers from both of them,” Singh said.

He said the order would be with a single manufacturer, declining to estimate the likely value of the deal because negotiations were ongoing.
30/11/15  Reuters/Deccan Herald

SpiceJet Says It's Received Interest From Gulf Airlines

Indian budget carrier SpiceJet Ltd., which has surged more than 280 percent this year, said it’s received interest from Gulf airlines looking to acquire a stake.
“Some of the Gulf airlines have expressed an interest in SpiceJet as we have come back into the market, but this is not the right time to be diluting the equity,” Chairman Ajay Singh said in Dubai Sunday, without naming the companies. “There is some dialogue which is ongoing and we continue to explore other types of relationships we could have,” he said, adding now isn’t the right time to sell a stake as the shares remain undervalued.
Gulf carriers including Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways PJSC and Qatar Airways Ltd. have acquired stakes in airlines to quickly expand their networks. Etihad has stakes in eight companies, while Qatar Airways Ltd. said earlier this month that it was interested in boosting its 10 percent holding in British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group SA and taking up to 49 percent of Indian budget carrier IndiGo.
29/11/15 Matthew Martin/

‘India has capability to innovate in aerospace’

Bengaluru: India has acquired core strength of system design and system integration in the past three decades, said Ajay Shankar, chairman of the expert committee on regulatory approvals, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

Addressing a seminar on ‘Indigenous technology base for growth of aerospace ecosystem” organised by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Shankar said, “We have the ability to innovate things and we could achieve enormous success.”

Complimenting HAL on completing 75 years, he said the nation should be proud of its contributions.

As part of its anniversary celebrations, HAL organised the seminar and brought together various stakeholders in aerospace on a common platform.
29/11/15 Business Line

Fog hits flights at KIA

Bengaluru: The season’s first fog at the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) affected several early morning schedules, delaying over 100 flights  leaving thousands of passengers stranded, on Saturday.

The fog played spoilsport with the travel plans and triggered a cascading effect on several other flights.

KIA officials said the airport runway operations were halted between 4:30 am and 8 am. Due to low visibility, none of the flights could take off or land. These included several international flights bound for Frankfurt, London and West Asia.

Passengers of Lufthansa, Emirates, British Airways and Qatar Airways were among the worst affected.

In all, 36 arrivals and 70 departures were affected. Normal operations resumed only after 8 am. However, this had a cascading effect on many other day-time flight schedules.

Stranded passengers were provided breakfast and other basic facilities by the airport officials in coordination with the respective airlines.
29/11/15 Deccan Herald

Fog reduces visibility

Bengaluru: The fog, which enveloped Kempegowda International Airport on Saturday morning reduced visibility from 1,000 metres to 100 metres in a mere eight minutes between 3.51 a.m. and 3.59 a.m., according to the Meteorological Department station at the airport.

As visibility reduced further to around 50 metres between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m., operations were stalled and several passengers were forced to wait for upwards of four hours before their flights finally took off.

“I wanted to go home and thought I would take an early morning flight to Delhi before flying onward to Imphal. However, my flight took off at 9.35 a.m. instead of 7.10 a.m. I missed my onward flight that was at 10.30 a.m. The next flight is only available on Sunday and I will have to pay more for the ticket now,” rued Mahesh Paonam, who works in the city.
29/11/15 Avinash Bhat/The Hindu

Punjab: Few takers for insurance of ‘VIP’ helicopter

Chandigarh: Insurance for the VIP Bell 429 helicopter that ferries Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal and other VVIPs has once again run into rough weather.
Ever since the state government purchased the US-made helicopter in 2012 at a cost of Rs 36.62 crore, the Punjab civil aviation department has been struggling every year with insurance bids and the valuation. It’s no different this year.
On November 20, the department of civil aviation had invited quotations for the insurance of twin engine seven-seater (including two seats for crew) helicopter a second time, days after it received only two bids, one by United India Insurance Company and other by HDFC ERGO General Insurance, on November 16, in response to its first advertisement for quotations on October 30.
29/11/15 Navjeevan Gopal/Indian Express

After San Francisco, Air India plans direct flight to Washington

NEW DELHI: Air India is considering starting a direct flight to Washington as well as serving new cities in the US soon after it launches its services to San Francisco next month.

The national carrier already operates non-stop flights to three US cities -- New York, Newark and Chicago.

"I have been informed by Air India that it is considering a direct flight to Washington," Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju has said.

He was speaking here yesterday at a function organised by Air India prior to the launch of its direct flight to San Francisco from December 2.

According to a senior official at Air India, apart from direct services to Washington, the carrier would be looking at the feasibility of connecting more number of cities in the US from various places in India.

The official said the launch flight, both to and from San Francisco in California, has already been sold out and the demand was "tremendous".

Air India used to serve Washington via New York, but the service was discontinued a few years ago. The carrier also had flights to Los Angeles in California, which was discontinued before the merger of Indian Airlines with Air India in 2011.
28/11/15 PTI/The Economic Times

'Extend proposed regional connectivity benefits to choppers'

NEW DELHI: The proposal to reduce VAT on jet fuel to 1 per cent under the draft civil aviation policy should be extended to helicopters providing regional connectivity, according to non-profit group RWSI.

Rotary Wing Society of India (RWSI) works towards developing civil helicopter industry. As per its website, 90 per cent of helicopter operators are its members.

Under the revised draft policy, the Civil Aviation Ministry has proposed a slew of measures, including reduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) on jet fuel to 1 per cent or less, to boost regional air connectivity.

"The helicopters engaged in regional connectivity/ religious pilgrimage etc may also be included for 1 per cent VAT on ATF," the grouping said in its recent submission made to the ministry on the policy.

As per the policy, Regional Connectivity Scheme would be made operational only in those states which reduce VAT on ATF (Aviation Turbine Fuel) at airports to 1 per cent or less.

Besides, RWSI has sought inclusion of "heliports/helipads" under the plan to revive unserved and under-served aerodromes and airstrips.
29/11/15 PTI/The Economic Times

‘KIA needs newer technology’

The absence of a state-of-the-art Instrument Landing System (ILS) at Kempegowda International Airport led to more than 100 flights being delayed when a blanket of fog enveloped the airport early on Saturday morning, according to experts.

As visibility dropped to less than 100 metres on the runway, the ability of pilots to take off and land, which is dependent on the ILS, was nullified leading to the delay. The KIA is equipped with a Category (CAT) I ILS system at a time when airports like the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi have installed CAT III-C ILS to deal with fog.

CAT I ILS requires a runway visual range (RVR) of 550 meters while CAT III-C systems can help a plane operate in RVR of 50 metres and above.

“Bengaluru airport is not fully equipped with the latest technology and this hampers operations,” said Shyson Thomas, Managing Director of Air Pegasus, which is based at KIA.

The lack of a CAT III-C system makes it impossible for a plane, which has just taken off in foggy conditions to land in case of an emergency. For an airport like KIA, which has a majority of flights taking off in the early morning, the lack of proper ILS facilities has the potential to severely handicap operations on days when fog descends.

“Given the fact that there is a significant amount of traffic early in the morning, it is time for the airport to consider upgrading to CAT-III ILS,” opined Devesh Agarwal, a blogger with Bangalore Aviation, which follows the aviation sector.
29/11/15 Avinash Bhat/The Hindu

Airport runway extension work to start next month

SURAT: The much-needed work to lengthen the Surat airport's runway is finally set to begin from the second week of December.

Sources at that Airport Authority of India (AAI) told TOI that the revised documents for work execution have been submitted to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for approval. The cement concrete (CC) mixture plant has been set up at the airport and all important surveys have been completed.

Now, the AAI is hopeful that the required permission will be received soon and digging work will begin.

AAI had invited tender applications for upgrading and extension of the runway from the existing 2,250metre to 2,905metre in May. First phase of the work will be to extend the runway by 655metre and recarpet the existing 2,250metre.

After completion of runway extension, the Surat airport will be classified as grade 4C airport.

For international status, an airport needs to fulfill a number of parameters. One of them is that the length of the runway should be 3,150metre. After completion of the project, the length of Surat runway will be 2,950metre, just 200metre short of being classified as 4D for full-fledged international status.
29/11/15 The Times Of India

Adampur airbase gets nod for commercial use

The Union Government has given a formal approval to use the Adampur airbase for civil purpose. Disclosing this, Union Minister of State for Social Justice Vijay Sampla said following the clearance from the Union Defence Ministry, the Civil Aviation Ministry had started preparing a techno-feasibility report to take up the expansion work at the airbase.
Sampla, who was elected from Hoshiarpur Lok Sabha constituency, said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal He said the Air Force authorities had already given their approval for the use of their airbase for the civil purpose. However, there was a need for its expansion and some buildings needed to be constructed for civil purpose, he said. “I had a meeting with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and he immediately directed the authorities concerned to do the needful,” said Sampla. Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar form the NRI belt. For NRIs, Adampur is the most suitable place to fly in and fly out from the country.
28/11/15 Sarbjit Dhaliwal/The Tribune

Role Of Greenfield Airports In Greening Indian Economy – Analysis

Greenfield airports play a significant role in accelerating the urbanization of a country, although at the same time the development of greenfield airports has some adverse environmental impacts such as use of agricultural land, deforestation, cutting of hills, diversion of rivers and erosion of the sea shores, etc. All these adverse environmental impact have significant ramifications on the environment.

An increase in air-traffic demand in existing airports, increase in level of urbanization and growth of small towns into bigger cities has led to increased pollution and as a result necessitated the need for the development of greenfield airports. The impact of the greenfield airports and urbanization has significant impact on economic growth. The Government of India has decided that during the next 20 years the number of airports will be increased from existing 133 to 500 airports and among them 367 airports will be greenfield airports. Searching sites for a greenfield airport involve a number of activities, such as the identification of the site, obstruction clearance within 30 nautical miles, etc. High rising building, hills, HT lines, forest, industrial chimneys, railway tracks, roads/highways etc., should not create an obstruction for landing and takeoff. Besides, factors such as the wind rose diagram, rainfall, temperature, wind speed, the elevation above mean sea level of the proposed site are also analyzed. In addition to the above constraints the site should have adequate traffic potential and be economically viable.
29/11/15 Dr.Narendra Nath Dalei & Prof D.P.Singh/Eurasia Review

11 women detained for visa violation

Hyderabad: The immigration authorities at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) on Saturday detained 11 women for possessing two visas – one tourist and another work permit. According to officials, the women, who hailed from Kadapa, booked the air tickets to travel to Dubai on Saturday from RGIA airport.

During the check, the women showed the tourist visas to the officials. When the officials asked them about their travel plans, the women were obviously taken aback and produced the work visas too.
29/11/15 The Hans India

Two women held for smuggling gold worth Rs 90 lakh

Two women have been arrested at the airport here for allegedly trying to smuggle into the country gold valued at about Rs 90 lakh.

The accused were intercepted by customs officials after their arrival from Dubai here on Thursday.They were allegedly carrying 1.7 kgs of gold each, Vinayak Azad, Additional Commissioner of customs at the airport, said today.
29/11/15 PTI/Business Standard

IGIA gets new eyes to peer through coming winter fog

Persistent thick smog is affecting visibility at the Delhi airport and dense fog might be just a fortnight away. This winter, however, flyers and airlines can look forward to some accurate fog forecast thanks to an infrastructure overhaul by the meteorological department.

Fog forecast is tricky business as the dynamics of fog sometime changes rapidly. One of the most crucial meteorological infrastructure that is required at an airport to get real time fog updates is a Runway Visual Range (RVR) machine and this year, the met department is replacing the old machines at the airport's runways with new ones and also adding more machines on standby. In simple terms, RVR is the distance at which a pilot can see the surface markings on a runway while landing.

Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport has earlier witnessed situations when malfunctioning RVR machines have eventually led to flight disruptions. With the airport now witnessing more than 1,000 flight movements a day, a technical glitch like this would result in utter chaos.

Taking no chances, the met department has installed eight RVR machines at the airport's third runway 29/11, even though the norm for fog landings require just three – one each at both ends and one in the middle. Dr. R.K. Jenamani, Director-in-Charge of the IGIA met unit said that while three new RVR machines have been installed as standby, two have been added at both ends specifically for Low Visibility Take Offs (LVTO).
29/11/15 Sidhartha Roy/The Hindu

High rent, low sale kill airport shops

Ahmedabad: With four more stores at the Ahmedabad airport downing shutters in the last few months, the number of closed shops at the airport has reached six this year. Sources have said the high rent to be paid by store leasers and low footfall has prompted several store owners to pack up. There is space for around 25 stores in the domestic terminal at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport. As per sources at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, five other stores will not be renewing their lease in December. "Store contracts are renewed at the end of the calendar year and several stores have opted not to renew their contracts," the source added.
Sources told Mirror that shops that downed shutters include a jewellery store, a garment store, a book store and an eatery, among others. Even 'Khadi' owned by the Aditya Birla group has shut store. When quizzed about the reasons for the stores shutting down, a former employee of the jewellery store that wrapped up business in July, said, "The store was unable to recover the costs. The number of customers was very low. So the company decided to shut shop." An employee at a Croma outlet, that has decided to keep the store open, confirmed the state of affairs.
29/11/15  Alok Brahmbhatt/Ahmedabad Mirror

Vasco police to book airport contractor

Vasco: Vasco police will soon book a case against the parking contractor appointed by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) for failing to comply with the verification of character and antecedents process of the security guards and supervisor employed by him at Dabolim airport.
According to Vasco PI Sagar Ekoskar, four security guards were detained on Saturday after police found that they had not gone through the verification process, but were still working at the airport. All four guards, employed by contractor Century Services, Mumbai, were collecting airport parking fees and excess time fees at the exit point of Dabolim airport.
29/11/15 Herald

Fire-crackers found in luggage, youth held at airport

Vadodara: A 21-year-old youth was arrested after fire-crackers were found in his luggage at the city airport today, police said.
R Sharma, an event manager from Delhi, was held after fire-crackers were found in his luggage during scanning at the airport, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Leena Patil told PTI.
He was going to the national capital with two women dancers after the trio had come for a wedding party in Surat. However, inadvertently he kept the fire-crackers in his luggage, she said.
29/11/15 PTI/Business Standard

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Govt simplifies importing aircraft for airlines

New Delhi: In a move to simplify doing business in India, the aviation ministry has decided to delegate the power to grant initial NOC/ In-principle approval for import or acquisition of aircrafts to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

As per the existing procedure, Scheduled Operators and Regional Scheduled Operators have to seek such approval from the ministry. The delegation of power is being done in order to simplify procedures as compliance of various Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) are regulated by the DGCA.

"The ministry has requested Director General of Foreign Trade and Reserve Bank of India to amend their existing notification and Master Circular respectively in this regard. Accordingly, DGFT vide notification no. 24/2015-2020 dated October 9, 2015 and Reserve Bank of India vide its Master Circular no. 30 dated November 26, 2015, have carried out the requisite amendments. DGCA has now been requested to make necessary amendment in the related CAR/Rules in accordance with it," the ministry said in a statement.
28/11/15 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

More Emirates flights into India to boost economy but hurt local airlines

Mumbai: Expanding flying rights for UAE airlines into India could help to boost the subcontinent’s economy, but the move would come at the expense of the ailing state carrier Air India, analysts say.

A report by India’s National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), released on Thursday, highlighted that Emirates has an economic impact of $848.6 million on India’s economy, and that with a greater allocation of seats the airline would generate further jobs, tourists and foreign exchange earnings.

This comes as Arabian Gulf airlines face pressure in Europe and the United States as their competitors in those markets try to get governments to restrict their market access.

“It is only right that the Indian government facilitate Emirates’ growth in the country, which would not only boost direct employment but also expand the GDP contribution for the country as well,” said Saj Ahmad, the chief analyst at StrategicAero Research.

“In fact, it should apply to all UAE airlines. Carriers like flydubai have been hampered in their growth in India because the government is reluctant to offer up additional capacity, when its own Indian-based airlines fail to fill the void.”

He said that “Emirates and other GCC airlines won’t face the same regulatory pressure as seen in the US and Europe” because those are “mature” markets compared to India’s “highly immature aviation market”.
28/11/15 Rebecca Bundhun/The National

SpiceJet plans to place order for 100-150 planes

Mumbai: After posting profits in the first two quarters of the current fiscal, SpiceJet plans to order 100-150 aircraft and is in talks with the major aircraft manufacturers for the same.
During the winter schedule the airline will look to operate 291 flights across the country in order to rope in tourists who look to travel during the winter months.
In order to consolidate its operations and expand at the same time, the airline is looking to buy both big and narrow bodied airlines, so that it can operate in smaller airports in the tier III and tier IV towns.
“We are in talks with manufacturers for an order of 100-150 aircrafts of large and small aircrafts. The order is likely to be finalised early next year,” said Shilpa Bhatia, senior vice-president, commercial, SpiceJet.
After facing rough times in December 2014 when it had reached the brink of closure the airline was forced to cut down on the routes it used to operate.
In order to revive the company’s fortunes, the team under the airlines’ promoter and chairman, Ajay Singh focused on two of the most crucial aspects of running an airline i.e, improved ground operations and higher utilisation of aircrafts.
28/11/15 Malyaban Ghosh/Financial Express

Civil aviation security meets ICAO standards: Government

New Delhi: The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security has complied with the norms set out by the global oversight body ICAO, the government said today.

BCAS, which is responsible for civil aviation security, lays down the standards for airport operators and airlines, among others.

The Civil Aviation Ministry today said BCAS has "fully met the target of implementation of security norms prescribed by the UN oversight body, ICAO".

A team from International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recently conducted audit of Indian civil aviation security and security at Delhi airport in October, an official release said.
The audit looked at nine areas, including legislative and regulatory architecture, performance of security personnel and security training.
28/11/15 PTI/Economic Times

Air India wants to land its aircraft with constant descent approach

Mumbai: National carrier Air India has asked air traffic manager Airport Authority of India (AAI) to allow its aircraft to land with 'constant descent approach' at the runway to let it save fuel, which forms about 40 per cent of the airline's operating cost.
Owing to safety and global aviation regulatory compliance reasons, aircraft descent is not in straight slant. Instead, during the descending process, the aircraft brings down its altitude by taking a small dip before flying straight for a while. The process continues in small cycles till the final landing on the runway.
While talking about AI's environment conservation programme, Harpreet Singh, executive director (flight safety), said that the initiative has been taken positively by the AAI. "If the idea gets implemented without compromising on any safety issue, then it will help us in saving fuel and thereby aid us save not only on carbon footprint but also save crucial foreign exchange," said Singh.
According to the airline officials, such landing can be made possible on certain airports, especially during the non-peak hours when there are not much plane movement around. The officials said that the consequence of low fuel might lead to lowering of air fares for the passengers.
28/11/15 Shahkar Abidi/Daily News & Analysis

Air India to launch tri-weekly Hyderabad-San Francisco flight via New Delhi

Air India on Friday said it will start a new tri-weekly Hyderabad-San Francisco flight via New Delhi from next week.
The flight will travel non-stop from New Delhi to San Francisco and passengers headed to the US city will undergo all customs and immigration formalities at Hyderabad airport itself for their onward journey, the national carrier said in a statement.
Flight AI-127 (a B777-300ER Boeing aircraft) from Hyderabad to New Delhi will depart on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 2105 hours and arrive in the national capital at 2315 hours.
Flight AI-173 to San Francisco will leave New Delhi on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 0235 hours and will be operated with B777-200LR aircraft. It will arrive in San Francisco at 0600 hours (local time) the same day.
The return flight will depart at 1030 hours and arrive at New Delhi the next day (Thursdays, Saturdays and Mondays).
It will leave at 1740 hours for Hyderabad, where it will land at 1955 hours, the statement said.
28/11/15 PTI/Daily News & Analysis

Air India plans to cut fuel expenses by involving passengers

With plans to cut down on its fuel expenses and also to reduce carbon emissions, national carrier Air India (AI) may now involve passenger participation to allow itself to club different flights in close intervals. The passengers may be given certain incentives if they choose to opt for it.

"We may do it in future, as passengers' participation is a must in an environment conservation programme to save the planet," said Harpreet Singh, executive director, flight safety, Air India. "For example, if the passengers' meeting has been scheduled a bit late and if he/she agrees to fly in a later flight, then the plan is possible," she added.
At present, most of the airlines do it but without informing the passengers or completely misleading them by citing some technical issue or the other. Airlines never actually specify what that "technical issue" is all about. This is generally done if two flights are about half an hour or an hour apart from each other and there are not enough passengers in both the flights.
28/11/15 Daily News & Analysis

'Need more aerospace resources to push India on global map'

Bengaluru: A top Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)official today stressed the need to establish aerospace facilities that will place India on the global arena.

"Although we are engineering many technologies for bigger platforms, we need to establish aerospace facilities that will place India on the global arena," DRDO Director General (Aeronautical Systems) K Tamilmani said.
Tamilmani was speaking at the national seminar on "Indigenous Technology Base for Growth of Aerospace Ecosystem", organised by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited as part of its 75-year celebrations here, according to an HAL release.

HAL CMD T Suvarna Raju said : "It is our constant endeavour to lead the sector in providing collaborative support to the aerospace community and creating an ecosystem for aviation technology."
28/11/15 PTI/Business Standard

IAF ‘stalls’ night flights at Srinagar Airport

Srinagar: The Indian Air Force has failed to facilitate operation of night flights at Srinagar ‘International’ Airport despite clearance by Union Defence Ministry.

Sources revealed that then Union Defence Minister A K Anthony had given nod to the operation of night flights in 2013, but despite passing of two years the IAF has failed to make any progress in upgrading the facilities which could have proven boon to the tourism and economy of Kashmir.

“Air HQ (headquarters) has already issued instructions to extend watch hours for civil flights at Srinagar...till 2200 hours (10 PM) on daily basis," Antony had said on July 17, 2013, in a communication to various state and central leaders who had pressed for allowing night flights at Srinagar Airport.

The Airport is under the direct operational control of the Indian Air Force. The control of air traffic and that of the landing strip is with the IAF while the terminal building is taken care of by the Airports Authority of India. The AAI also controls the apron area (where an aircraft is parked), but the airspace control is with the IAF.
29/11/15 Mukeet Akmali/Greater Kashmir

Perfect weather data for safe flight

Bhubaneswar: A digital weather forecasting system installed at Biju Patnaik International Airport will provide accurate data on wind, temperature and air pressure to the air traffic control (ATC) to ensure safe flying.

The Wi-Fi-based system has the capability of sending its observation automatically to the recipient (as set in its memory), so that the recipient can act according to the requirement warranted in the aviation sector.

According to the Indian Meteorology Department (IMD), the device is called the current weather instrument system (CWIS), which has been installed near the main runway of the airport.

Local director of the IMD Sarat Chandra Sahu said: "Earlier, the manual system was to be studied by a person for collecting data. But now, the new system can work automatically irrespective of weather conditions. It takes data from the runway area, so that the pilots can get real-time inputs. Earlier, the data used to be generated from weather observation equipment placed nearly 1km from the runway."
28/11/15 Telegraph

Flight leaves early, passengers stranded

New Delhi: A Delhi-Indore Indigo flight allegedly departed before time on Saturday evening, leaving behind a few passengers.

The hapless passengers of flight 6E 436 claimed they had received an SMS alert from the airline that said the flight had been rescheduled from 4.50pm to 6.30pm. "We reached IGI well in time to catch the 4.50pm flight. But then the SMS came so we waited for about half an hour. An hour before the flight, we proceeded towards the boarding lounge when we were told it had already left," said Sanjay Agarwal (50), a businessman.

Agarwal came from Ranchi on Saturday morning to take a connecting flight to Indore. "It is important that I reach latest by tomorrow morning. But Indigo officials have said there is no early flight available. They have also refused to arrange for accommodation for outstation passengers," he said.

The passengers also alleged that the airport display boards reflected wrong flight status. But an IGI official said, "There was no mistake from our end. As informed by the airline, we changed the time to 5.25pm."
29/11/15 Times of India

Fog hits flight operations in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: Passengers looking to fly out of the Kempegowda International Airport were in for a surprise on Saturday as all early morning flights into and from KIAL were delayed due to fog. Close to 100 flights saw delays and cancellations according to Airport authorities.

Operations at the airport were stalled between 4:30 am and 8:00 am as fights could not land or depart due to low visibility. Flights resumed after 8 in the morning and were normal during the day, but hundreds of passengers were stranded at the airport.
28/11/15 The Hindu

Delhi faces threat of aerial strikes: MHA

New Delhi is facing serious threats of aerial strikes from various terror outfits, including the dreaded ISIS, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has said. Security agencies have taken necessary steps to foil any such attacks and have prepared a list of 15 key spots in the Capital that they fear might be targeted. Objects like drones, unmanned air system (UAS) and para motors could be used to carry out attacks, the ministry has said. The seriousness of the threat could be gauged from the fact that security agencies have been authorised to shoot down 'any unidentified, suspicious flying object' once declared 'not friendly' by the India Air Force (IAF).
At a high-level meeting held at the North Block, the MHA asked Delhi Police, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), union civil aviation ministry and IAF to provide suggestions on how to counter such threats, according to documents accessed by Mail Today. The idea also was to put in place a standard operating procedure.
The MHA has said the spots under threat include the Prime Minister's house, Rashtrapati Bhavan, the residences of home minister and vice-president, areas around Rajpath and India Gate, besides the CGO Complex that houses the headquarters of key agencies such as the CBI, CISF and BSF.
"Delhi is the most sensitive metro in India. It has been facing threats from various outfits. But aerial attack threats are now the main focus. Security and intelligence agencies have given reports about such attacks in Delhi. The government is coming out with a plan to counter the threat," a top government official told Mail Today.
28/11/15 Ankur Sharma/Mail Today/India Today

New ATC tower at Delhi awaits launch

The new and state-of-the-art Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower at the Delhi airport is ready, but may have to sit out the winter season before it becomes operational.

According to sources at the airport, extensive trials are required before air traffic management can be shifted from the existing tower to the new one. With the dreaded fog season fast approaching, the authorities don’t want any glitches.

“Flight operations get severely affected during dense fog conditions when visibility drops to zero at times. While this delays flights, the backlog also results in huge pressure on air traffic management,” said an airport official who didn’t wish to be named. “Shifting operations to the new tower at this time could cause difficulties. Any teething troubles or technical glitches would result in huge flight disruptions,” he said.
28/11/15 Sidhartha Roy/The Hindu

Akshay Kumar wants AIRLIFT to be in schools history textbooks

B-town entertainer Akshay Kumar, who will be seen in an action hero avatar in his upcoming AIRLIFT - based on the real life episode of largest civil evacuation by Air India and Indian Airlines in the 1990s occurred in Kuwait, has demanded the inclusion of the incident in Indian history textbooks.
In an interview during the promotion of the film Akshay Kumar said, “This episode should be in textbooks. When we talk about history, we don't mention this, as there was a big political reason behind it.”

Speaking further, Akshay said, “This is a real story… India did a big thing of bringing back close to 1,70,000 Indians and it is there in the Guinness Book of World Record.”
27/11/15 Glamsham

Air India Passengers Stranded at Hyderabad Airport for 6 Hours

Hyderabad: Passengers of an Air India flight were stranded at the airport in Hyderabad for more than six hours
after the carrier failed to get landing clearance in Bengaluru due to "bad weather" and thereafter had to deploy new set of pilots.

The flight which came from Muscat was scheduled to depart to Bengaluru at around 3.30 am.

"Because of bad weather in Bengaluru, we did not get clearance," an Air India official said.

Meanwhile, after getting clearance, the two pilots came under "Duty Time Limitations" which means they were not allowed to fly after a certain number of hours on duty.
28/11/15 PTI/NDTV

ILS already in place at Srinagar Airport: Director

Srinagar: Barely two days after PDP president and Member Parliament Mehbooba Mufti expressed dismay over the frequent flight disruptions at the Srinagar Airport and demanded Instrumentation Landing System (ILS), the Airport Authority of India Friday claimed that the ILS is already in place since the Srinagar Airport has been commissioned.

“We have ILS in place at the Srinagar Airport since it has been commissioned. The Airport Authority of India at its own cost has provided the same ILS to the Srinagar Airport which is installed in the Delhi Airport. I can say with responsibility that the system is working very well here at the aerodrome,” Director, Airport Authority of India in Srinagar, R K Shinde was quoted as saying by local news agency KNS.

He claimed that if the Air Force will provide ‘approach lights’ at the aerodrome, then landing can be done during even the low visibility.

“We have no approach lights in the runway. If at all the Air Force which is looking after the runway, provides the approach light system of runway, then it will help flights land in the fog or low visibility also,” Shinde said.
27/11/15 Kashmir Images

'Refugees should be removed from Greenfield airport beneficiary list'

The All Arunachal Pradesh Border Student's Union (AAPBSU) on Friday demanded that the state government direct the Papum Pare deputy commissioner to stop the identification process and proof of beneficiaries for the Greenfield Airport at Hollongi.

The student body president, Atung Tana, said that of the 409 compensation beneficiaries for the airport, 233 are Chakma and Hajong refugees. If the state government didn't remove the refugees from the beneficiaries' list, then there was no point in filing a curative petition against the Supreme Court verdict to grant them citizenship, he added.
28/11/15 Times of India

Indonesia eyes better India connect

Pune: Indonesia will revive direct air connectivity with key Indian cities by the beginning of next year as part of its effort to increase tourism, trade and people-to-people contact between the two nations, said Indonesia's consul general Saut Siringoringo on Thursday.

"To start with, Indonesia's national-carrier Garuda plans to operate direct flights between Jakarta and Delhi, Bali and Mumbai," Siringoringo said, adding that the governments of the two countries agreed long time back on the revival of direct flights.

On a three-day visit to Pune for promoting trade and tourism, Siringoringo spoke exclusively to the TOI on various issues, including the vast potential for bilateral trade and greater exchange in the fields of health, education and tourism. He was accompanied by Indonesian consul (economics) Hariyan ta Soetarto, vice consul (economics) Siti Fatimah and consul Pratiwi Amperawati.
27/11/15 Vishwas Kothari/Times of India

Taxi owners hold Dabolim airport to ransom for close to an hour

Vasco: The Dabolim airport was tense for close to an hour Friday afternoon, when taxi drivers and owners blocked the exit to the main airport terminal building. Taxi owners were agitated over the alleged harassment meted out to them at the hands of bouncers appointed by the private contractor of the Airport Authority of India.

At 1.30pm on Friday, taxi owners of the North Goa taxi owner's association and South Goa taxi owner's association joined forces outside the main terminal building and blocked the exit with their vehicles for an hour. The Dabolim police who were prepared for the situation, diverted the outgoing traffic towards the entry point.

There are two points for entry and, during the blockade, one side was temporarily converted to an exit point. This greatly relieved the stranded passengers.

The situation got worse after Mormugao DySP Mohan Naik reached the site and asked his policemen to record the taxi registration numbers and later cancel their permit. Hearing this, the agitated taxi owners told Naik that if he dared to do so, they "will send their children to his house and commit suicide". After an hour of negotiation, the taxi owners consented to speak to the police at the Dabolim airport police station.

IAF Chief hopeful of Rafale deal by year end

Hasimara: Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha on Saturday hoped the deal between India and France for Rafale fighter jets would be signed before end of this year.
Asked when was the deal for 36 Rafale jets in fly-away condition expected to be inked, the Indian Air Force chief told IANS: "I hope it will happen by the year end."
"We expect it to happen quickly," he said.
Hasimara, around 15 km away from India-Bhutan border, has a crucial air base of India in the eastern sector. It has two squadrons of Mig 27s, which are likely to be phased out in the next few years.
According to sources, at least one of the Rafale squadrons is expected to be based here.
At an interaction with journalists earlier, Raha said that Rafale was one of the replacements for the Migs being phased out.
28/11/15 IANS/Statesman

Hawala money seized at Chennai airport; TN passenger to Singapore held

Chennai: Air Customs personnel seized Hawala money to the tune of Rs 28 lakhs from a Singapore bound passenger from Illeyankudi in Ramanathapuram District of Tamil Nadu, at the international terminal early today.

Airport sources said the passenger Abdul Rahim, who was arrested, was carrying the unaccounted money in US dollars and Euro currency, acting as a courier to Singapore. He hid the money in his suitcase. The crime came to light when his baggage was being scanned before he boarded a Tiger Airlines flight at0130 hrs this morning.
28/11/15 Central Chronicle

MP youth held for making ‘threat call’ to Air India; says did it for fun

Thane: A 20-year-old youth from Madhya Pradesh has been arrested in connection a threat call made to national carrier Air India’s Thane call centre last week, threatening to hijack an AI flight on November 28, and claimed that he did it “just out of fun”.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone-V, Vilas Chandanshive told a press conference at the Shrinagar Police station here today that the youth was nabbed from Harda district of Madhya Pradesh, yesterday, and an offence has been registered against him.
He was produced before a local court which remanded him to police custody till December 2.
According to preliminary investigations, the youth, who is a class XII student, had made the call “just out of fun”, though state ATS and Intelligence Bureau were also roped in to look into the matter taking into consideration the gravity of the call.
The youth’s identity has been withheld by the police. According to the FIR filed by Air India with the Shrinagar Police station here, on November 20, at about 22:25 hours, an unidentified person called on the toll-free number of the AI call centre, threatening to hijack an Air India flight on November 28.
The DCP said the caller spoke fluent Hindi and identified himself as an ‘ISIS member’. He said they have planned to hijack a flight on November 28 and that the call should be taken as a “hoax”.
28/11/15 Indian Express