Saturday, December 03, 2016

Why do most Indian airports report losses? Not a single flight lands in them, that's why

India is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world, clocking over 20 percent growth in domestic traffic month on month for many months now. One would assume that India’s aviation infrastructure is keeping pace with this blistering pace of growth in traffic. No, it isn’t. Majority of India’s airports are managed by state-owned Airports Authority of India (AAI) and many of these remain un-served, a majority are loss making.
We have close to 400 airports across the country which are un-served - they do not handle even a single flight. But we also lack airport infrastructure at several places where demand actually exists. In the past, Civil Aviation Minister A Gajapathi Raju has laid the blame at airlines' door and compared them to horses who can be taken near the water but cannot be made to drink it.
According to him, airlines not mounting flights to many existing airports are the biggest reason for patchy air connectivity in India. But look at this: there is a long list of airports run by AAI – 97 out of 122 - incurred losses in 2015-16.
Not all of these are un-served. In fact, the Raja Bhoj airport in Bhopal, Sri Guru Ram Dass ji airport in Amritsar and the one in Aurangabad together accounted for over Rs 150 crore in losses but both these airports service flights regularly. They are not ghost airports at all. So should airlines solely shoulder the blame for the unused airports and loss making ones?
Raju said in a written reply in Lok Sabha yesterday that airports incurred losses due to low revenue generation and that AAI has drawn up a master plan for development and increase in non-aeronautical revenues at airports across India.
There is a historical method to the airport madness in India. Under previous governments, airports which are turning in losses and those which remain un-served, were built partly to pander to local politics, partly because of inability of the AAI to judge where an airport should be in a state so that airlines find it viable to operate flights there and again, partly in the hope that airlines will get smaller aircraft to operate on these routes.
02/12/16 Sindhu Bhattacharya/F.Business

Civil Aviation Minister for city

Minister for Civil Aviation P Ashok Gajapathi  Raju will arrive at the airport at 7.35 am from New Delhi on Sunday by Indigo flight from where he will directly go to the Government Circuit House.

After attending the local programmes, Ashok Gajapathi Raju will go to the R K Beach at 4 pm to attend the Navy Day celebrations from where he will attend Navy function at Navi House at 6.15 pm.
03/12/16 The Hans India

Fogged Indian airports not in the top flight

As fog continues to blanket Delhi and other parts of India with low visibility impacting flight operations, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), United States, on Friday categorised as “red” flight timings at Indian airports.

Eight flights from the Indira Gandhi International Airport were cancelled, leaving passengers in the lurch.

The Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) said more than 60 flights were delayed and diverted at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. “New Delhi experienced a thick blanket of fog. At 8.30 am, visibility at Palam area was less than 50 metres and at Safdarjung was 300 metres. This improved to 600 and 800 metres by 11 am,” said an official from the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

According to FAA, the excessive delay rate was “five” while the visibility was one mile barely. In weather conditions, the airport was tagged under “smoky” status. Around 24 Asian airports come under the FAA regular observation on flight operations.

Other prominent airports of India, like Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai, were also categorised under “excessive delay” by the FAA. Its visibility was only two miles.

Comparatively, the neighbouring airport at the Beijing Capital International Airport has improved the flight timings. The FAA has rated the excessive delay at “two” while the Flight Delay Index (FDI) has been marked with “low delay” status. The visibility was recorded six miles. The Shanghai airport received a “significant delay” status with the delay rate at “3.25”.

Meanwhile, Bangkok’s Survarnabhumi airport has come under “moderate” FDI status as the flight delay rate was 2.50. In Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the visibility was six miles. The delay rate was 0.75.
03/12/16 Sapna Singh/The Pioneer

Reforms in the air: Paper boarding pass, cabin baggage tag to become passé

The paper boarding pass could soon become history at airports, as the aviation security regulator has decided to annul a 1982 rule that made it compulsory for airlines to keep a part of the printout to ascertain the number of passengers who boarded an aircraft.

Electronic boarding passes will come in place of the paper versions under the plan finalised by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), said a senior government official, who did not want to be named. The new rule has the approval of the civil aviation ministry and is likely to be announced in a month's time.

Once it is notified, all that a passenger needs to do is to flash the image of the boarding pass on his mobile phone at security clearing and the gate, where it can be scanned. However, there will still be a provision for paper boarding passes for those who can't produce the electronic pass.
"This rule (on paper boarding pass) is not relevant today because airports have computers and the passes are scanned anyway and that gives a sense on the number of people who have boarded the flight," said the official. "Tearing a part of the boarding pass is not required anymore. The authorities have agreed and soon the requirement will be withdrawn."
The Hyderabad airport already has systems in place for processing e-boarding pass and other airports are looking at it, he said.
03/12/16 Mihir Mishra/The Times Of India

Birsa Munda airport fails to get international tag

All efforts by airport authorities and the government to get the international tag for Birsa Munda Airport failed, despite upgrading its infrastructure for international operations three-and-a-half years ago.
"None of the private flight operators are taking interest in Ranchi as a connecting link for international routes due to lack of passenger traffic," Anil Vikram, Birsa Munda airport director, said.
"We have been raising the matter in the meetings with union-state government officials and stakeholders for a long time," Vikram added.
Members of Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FJCCI) met Hazaribag MP Jayant Sinha, minister of state for civil aviation on November 27, during his visit to the state capital, and handed over a letter to him requesting to start services for Dubai. FJCCI said Dubai acts as a stopover for connecting flights to western countries and Bangkok for its connectivity to eastern countries.
02/12/16 The Times Of India

Heli-tourism set to take off in State

The Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) has signed its first heli-tourism pact with Thumby Aviation headed by Captain K.N.G. Nair, a veteran with decades of experience in the aviation sector.

Each round of ride will last for 7-10 minutes, and will be operated from Shilpa Ram helipad in Tirupati at an affordable price.

Tourism Corporation’s Managing Director Girija Shankar said tourists could experience the helicopter rides from February-end, by which time the helipad would be ready to accommodate new facility.

“Andhra Pradesh has registered domestic footfalls of 9.76 crore this year as against 8.14 crore last year, marking an increase of 20 per cent. We are exploring all possible options to make AP a happening place in the tourism space. We also propose to offer point-to-point service to the interested parties from locations like Srisailam, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Vijayawada,” said Mr. Girija Shankar.

Captain Nair said he was happy to be associated with Andhra Pradesh to promote tourism with innovative ideas.
03/12/16 The Hindu

India’s AAI looking to fill nearly 2,100 posts

Airports Authority of India (AAI) plans to fill nearly 2,100 posts by 2018 as it looks to increase manpower for various projects, according to the Economic Times.
02/12/16 Air Traffic Management

Fly to Thiruvananthapuram from Kochi just for Rs 799

Indigo Airlines has come up with big offers for domestic passengers. The company has announced offers for selected routes. Those passengers who book in advance can avail themselves of the offer.

Kochi-Tvpm, Coimbatore-Chennai travel will cost Rs 799 and Bengaluru-Hyderabad route will cost Rs 999.

The offer will be available from Dec 14 to Oct 28.
02/12/16 Kaumudi Online

NRIs race for cash at airport exchange counters

Post-demonetisation, the Indian expatriate community coming home for a holiday may not have fully reckoned with what's in store for them until they step on the tarmac of the Jaipur airport.
Most of them can be seen running to money exchange counters so that they manage to get their hands on some cash before the counters run dry again.
The waiting period at these counters can extend up to an hour at the airport, and many have to leave empty handed as these money changers quickly run out of cash.
The airport has become a sort of running track with NRIs along with other visitors rushing to them soon after the immigration check.
Himat Singh, who came to Jaipur from Sharjah after two years, had to wait for almost 45 minutes before he could exchange some money.
He could exchange only Rs 6,000 as cash was in short supply at the counter.
The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has allowed a scheduled commercial bank to open and operate a currency exchange counter on a temporary basis.
But the facility is available at only one counter in Jaipur. Moreover, as most international flights from Gulf arrive at odd hours in the morning, the shortage of cash is causing trouble for those who have to travel to other parts of the state.
03/12/16 The Times Of India

Fog in Delhi chokes Goa airport with delays

Poor visibility and dense fog at Indira Gandhi International airport, Delhi, led to cascading flight delays in Goa. According to airport officials, over six flights were delayed at the Goa International Airport due to delays in Delhi.
With the winters setting in, fog has hampered arrival and departure operations at the Delhi airport for three days in a row. Given that aircrafts are rotated to ply across the country, there has been a ripple effect in flight operations in Goa too.
Stranded passengers complained about the lack of outlets offering refreshments at the airport. Already suffering due to a paucity of cash, passengers found to their dismay that the sole restaurant at the airport does not accept credit or debit card payments.
03/12/16 The Times Of India

Direct flights sought from Vijayawada

The AP Chamber of Commerce and Industry Federation has written to the Chairman of Airport Authority of India (AAI) seeking direct flights to the Middle Eastern and South East Asian countries from Vijayawada airport.

The members cited  passenger traffic to emphasise the need for direct flights.

The commerce federation said as educational institutions like SRM, VIT and Amrita were setting up their campuses in the city and foreign visits of trade officials would increase, there would be a need for direct access to flights. Travellers to Vijayawada city, are making use of Hyderabad airport and wasting their time in transit.
03/12/16 The New Indian Express

Gujarat govt ready to give land for international airport in Rajkot: CM Vijay Rupani

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani today said his government is ready to provide 2,800 acres of land for the international airport proposed to be built here.
“The state government is ready to give 2,800 acres of land to Rajkot district authorities for the international airport,” he said at a function here.
The Chief Minister made the announcement while laying the foundation stone of SAUNI (Saurashtra Narmada Avatraran Irrigation) project’s link-3 canal project to fill Aji dam, which is city’s main source of drinking water.
“The state government is committed to provide international air-connectivity to Rajkot and ready to give the required land,” Rupani said.
Rajkot District Collector Vikrant Pandey had recently sought 2,800 acres of land for the project.
02/12/16 PTI/The Indian Express

Manch seeks more int’l flights from city

The Sri Guru Ram Dass International Airport here is getting a step motherly treatment from the SAD-led state government as well as the BJP-led Central Government.
Making the allegations, Kulwant Singh, president, Ankhi Amritsar Vikas Manch, an NGO, said the government was focused to get international flights from Mohali rather than Amritsar despite the latter’s reputation as a global tourist destination.
“The Amritsar airport is second only to the Delhi airport, having world class facilities, including 12,000-ft longest runway equal to the Delhi airport with the Cat III B-ILS System, which would be functional from March 2017, an ultramodern terminal building and 1400 acres for future expansion. The airport is not receiving a positive response from the state as well as the Central governments,” he said in a statement released today.
He said the present government did nothing to resume the Amritsar-London-Toronto flight which was suspended in 2009 by Air India despite being the most successful flight in the annals of the Air India’s history.
02/12/16 The Tribune

Jet Airways' power play: Influential family hijacks flight, airline bribes people to deboard the flight

An inevitable chaos was created when the Jet Airways flight 9W7083 scheduled from Mumbai to Bhopal was 'hijacked' by an 'influential' family.
As per reports, there were close to 80 people who were traveling to Bhopal for a wedding event. 17 out of 80 people showed up late to the airport which resulted in the cancellation of their bookings giving other people preference. Apparently, these 17 people were able to pass through the security check and boarding gates even after their tickets were not confirmed.
02/12/16 Neha Vashishth/India Today

Bad weather hits flight operations; many delayed, rescheduled

Several flights were affected at the airport here today, with many of them getting delayed and some being cancelled, as bad weather caused poor runway visibility conditions.
Besides, there were diversions of two international flights. One Air India flight from Paris was diverted to Mumbai while an Oman Air flight from Muscat was diverted to Jaipur, airport officials said.
02/12/16 PTI/The Indian Express

Runway recarpeting work to resume soon

After more than two weeks of disruption, the hot mix plant for the runway recarpeting work at Trivandrum International Airport will resume functioning soon. The plant was shut down on November 17 following a directive issued by the Kerala state pollution control board.
After studying the area and impact of the plant, PCB has directed the contractor to resume work. District collector S Venkatesapathy said there was no more objections to the work. "The recarpeting work can be continued, if the work is conducted as per PCB norms," he said.
"The contractor has been asked to take measures to control the dust emission. The functioning of the plant can be restarted, since the study is complete. Another inspection is needed to check the effectiveness of pollution control measures in the plant installed for controlling dust emission. As the plant is a temporary one, only some pollution control measures are needed for its proper functioning," said a PCB official.
The PCB plans to conduct another inspection in the area within a week after the plant starts functioning.
03/12/16 Anasooya.S/The Times Of India

Rs 1.25 crore worth of banned drug seized at KIA

An officer said they searched export cargos at the Air Cargo Complex following a tip-off and found around Rs 25 kg of Ephedrine concealed in the inlay covers of folding files in six carbon boxes.

The haul is valued at Rs 1.25 crore. The drug is banned under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.

Customs officers checked the details of the consignment, which led them to two local residents. The officer refused to disclose the identify of the suspects, saying they do not intend to alert other people possibly involved in the racket.

The seized drug is suspected to have been sourced from Karnataka and other parts of India, the officer added.

The drug was concealed in the folder files so as to evade detection. Customs officials have alerted their counterparts in Malaysia and given them the address where the consignment was meant to be delivered, another officer said.
03/12/16 Nikhil Gangadhar/Deccan Herald

15 flights cancelled, chaos at Hyderabad airport

Fliers had a harrowing time on Friday with about 15 flights from the city being cancelled, owing to the poor weather conditions in north India. The sectors worst-affected were: Delhi, Chandigarh, Jabalpur and Varanasi. While some carriers managed to continue their services, despite the low visibility , most of them reported a delay of anywhere between one and three hours.More than 12 flights, including those headed for Raipur and Ahmedabad, featured on this list.
The high rate of cancellations and delays had a cascading impact on other routes too (as many of them are connecting sectors) with several services on sectors such as Goa, Bengaluru, Visakhapatnam, Mumbai, Cochin etc either cancelled or delayed. Similarly, the schedule of flight arrivals to the Shamshabad airport here was also severely disrupted. Close to a dozen flights from Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Chennai among others stood cancelled or delayed - some up to four hours.
"There is total chaos as the airport with passengers running from one counter to the other for informa tion about the sta tus of their flight.
The waiting area is completely chock a-block," said a pas senger waiting to board a flight to Ahmedabad.
03/12/16 The Times Of India

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Wing tips of two taxiing planes collide at Mumbai Airport

In a freak ground incident, the wing tips of two aircraft -- one reportedly stationary and the other taxiing -- collided at Mumbai Airport on Wednesday. This happened when the wings of an incoming Kuwait Airways wide body aircraft and an outbound IndiGo narrow body aircraft clipped before 6 am, much before sunrise when it was still dark.
IndiGo Airbus A-320 (VT-IFP)'s sharklet -portion curved at the tip of aircraft wing — was damaged by the impact. The plane returned to the terminal and had to be grounded. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is probing this incident.
In a statement, IndiGo said: "IndiGo confirms that the wing tip of its Airbus A-320 aircraft came in contact with the wing tip of the Airbus A-330 - a wide body aircraft of an international operator -- while taxing at the Mumbai airport Wednesday morning. At about 5:45 am, while the aircraft of this international airline was taxing toward the parking stand, at the same time an IndiGo flight (6E 207) was taxing to depart to Jaipur from taxi way 'N' and 'W' respectively.... under air traffic control's (ATC) instruction."
"IndiGo pilot was advised to follow the international operator arrival. Approximately at 5.45 am, the pilot of this international airline was advised by the ATC to move ahead to make way for IndiGo aircraft. As per (rules), while an aircraft is on taxiway N, Taxiway W4 must not be permitted to use as standard wingtip clearance is not met. The (rule) guidelines manual reads - the aircraft holding on taxiway W4 at holding position runway 14/32 will prohibit aircraft taxing on taxiway N. Hence, due to the taxing process, the Airbus 320 aircraft of IndiGo came in contact with Airbus A330 aircraft of the international operator," IndiGo said.
30/11/16 Saurabh Sinha/The Times Of India

India’s Light Combat Aircraft Advances with New Order

India’s Ministry of Defense has cleared an order for 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), designated Mk1A, from government-owned defense manufacturer Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF). HAL currently has in hand an order for 40 GE F404-engined LCAs for the IAF. Of the 20 to be produced with an initial operational clearance, three have been delivered and the fourth is scheduled to be handed over by early next year. Twenty more will be supplied once they receive the final operational clearance (FOC) by end of 2017.

HAL says it will increase production from eight to 16 a year “once a formal order is received for the 83 Mk1As.” IAF Air Chief Marshall Arup Raha said last year: “We want the LCA Mk1A with an improved radar [Elta's ELM-2052 AESA or active electronically scanned array], electronic warfare, in-flight refueling and better missiles.” But a privately owned OEM said: “While there is to be joint work between HAL and Elta, we don’t know how much of the Elta AESA will be indigenous.” Other OEMs are interested. For instance, Saab confirmed recently to AIN that it is offering its Gallium Nitride technology, developed in Gothenberg, Sweden, for the LCA, rather than part of its Gripen proposal to India.

The LCA Mk2 version, expected to be re-engined from the GE F404 to the F414, is planned for production by 2025. The Indian Navy has expressed its firm requirement for 46 LCA Mk2s that will require a weight reduction of one ton over the Mk1A. Delays to the naval LCA have been attributed in the past to technical complexities; non-availability of infrastructure and critical components and technology denial regimes; extended user trials; and the failure of some of the components during testing.
30/11/16 Neelam Mathews/AINonline

Army helicopter crashes in Sukna, 3 dead

An army helicopter has reportedly crashed at Sukna Military Camp in West Bengal around 11.45 am Wednesday morning, killing three officers and leaving one junior commissioned officer critically injured.
The Cheetah helicopter was returning to the camp’s helipad at Sukna, near Silgirui, from a routine mission. While three officers died on the spot, a JCO was evacuated and admitted to a hospital in a critical condition.
30/11/16 The Indian Express

UDAN scheme Rs 8500 levy: Indigo, GoAir, SpiceJet, Jet, others take Centre to Delhi High Court

The Central government’s plan to create a fund under the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme by levying Rs 7500 to Rs 8500 per flight operated by Indian airlines; to develop airports in smaller towns and cities, was challenged in the Delhi High Court today when the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) filed a petition so as to know the government’s stand on the matter.
A notice was issued to Ministry of Civil Aviation, Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) by a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal who sought their replies by December 21; as the levy will be chargable from December 1. Meanwhile, the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA) explains that the scheme allows them to pass on the levy to the passengers, which they regret imposing as it is not a fee for which their airlines are rendering services to the passengers.
The FIA represents air carriers like Indigo, GoAir, SpiceJet and Jet Airways, have sought suppressing of the October 21 notification and the November 9 orders that declared the rates of levy and the categories of the scheduled flights on which they would be imposed.
30/11/16 The Financial Express

Mamata Banerjee's IndiGo Flight Circled Over Airport, Low On Fuel: Trinamool

Trinamool Congress lawmaker Mukul Roy has said that an IndiGo flight from Patna to Kolkata, which he was travelling in along with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday evening, was short on fuel as it circled over Kolkata airport for nearly half an hour.

Mr Roy says IndiGo flight 6E 0342, on landing at 8:45 pm in Kolkata, was surrounded by fire engines and ambulances.

"On landing the sight of airport ambulances and fire engines was worrying. While I was told that this was because the aircraft was low on fuel, the Air Traffic Control (ATC) is denying that the pilot had informed them about being low on fuel. That's why as chairman on parliamentary standing committee on tourism and aviation I will ask the civil aviation minister and chairman of airport authority to carry out a probe," he said.

Mr Roy said the Patna-Kolkata flight took off from Bihar's capital after an hour's delay, and added that near Kolkata the pilot announced that due to congestion the flight will have to circle the airport and is eighth in queue for sequential landing.

"I was told on landing that the pilot had informed the ATC around 8:13 pm that the aircraft was low on fuel. Still the flight landed at 8:45 pm. Which means a flight with West Bengal Chief Minister on board was in air despite being low on fuel," he said.
01/12/16 Rahul Shrivastava & Sandeep Phukan/NDTV

Team from Airports Authority of India visits advance landing grounds

A team of officials from Airports Authority of India, Indian Air Force, Director General of Civil Aviation and Bureau of Aviation Security, led by Arunachal Pradesh civil aviation director Repo Ronya, visited the advance landing grounds (ALG) at Aalo and Pasighat.
01/12/16 The Times Of India

Team visits Aalo and Pasighat

A team of officials from Airports Authority of India (AAI), Indian Air Force (IAF), Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Bureau of Aviation Security BCAS led by Arunachal Pradesh civil aviation director Repo Ronya have visited the advance landing grounds (ALG) at Aalo and Pasighat.

During their visit yesterday, they also inspected the feasibilities of a civil terminal for the ALGs to operationalize commercial flights in future.

At Pasighat, Ronya held a detailed discussion with the visiting team along with East Siang DC Bani Lego and sought support from the Central team to resolve all pending issues, an official release said here today.

During a field visit, Lego asked the visiting team to start domestic flights immediately with the existing infrastructure with minimum facility up-gradation wherever feasible.
30/11/16 PTI/Business Standard

Warning Issued To Private Jets Over Being Misused To Fly Banned Notes

India has threatened to punish private jet operators that fly to small and remote airports without police clearance as Prime Minister Narendra Modi tries to plug loopholes in his campaign against unaccounted money.

A group of private jet operators, which counts tycoon Anand Mahindra's Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and the billionaire Poonawalla family's aviation firm as members, said the move came after an "isolated case" of not following procedure, and aircraft owned by its members follow standard rules for security checks.

Modi stunned the nation on Nov. 8 by invalidating 500 rupee ($7.3) and 1,000 rupee notes in an effort to force unaccounted cash into the formal economy, setting a Dec. 30 deadline for the money to be deposited with banks. Two weeks later, India Today reported that a private jet was used to transport banned currency to the country's northeast, where residents enjoy certain tax benefits. The Huffington Post reported that at least four private jets stuffed with cash flew to a small town in the northeastern state of Nagaland.
30/11/16 Anurag Kotoky,Bloomberg/NDTV

Air India Plans More International Flights, Copenhagen On Radar

Preparing to expand its international presence, Air India is actively looking at starting flights to the Scandinavian region.

"After Madrid, we are actively looking at Scandinavian region to expand our international presence. We are mulling to launch either Copenhagen (Denmark) or Stockholm (Sweden) by the middle of 2017...," Air India Director (Commercial) Pankaj Srivastava said here today.

The national carrier, which is working on ways to revive its fortunes, would be launching its direct services to Madrid, Spain from tomorrow.

Speaking at a function to mark the launch of Madrid flight, he said the airline is also looking at flights to Hong Kong from Mumbai.

However, the launch of such a service would depend on the availability of slots, he added.

Air India has plans to increase the frequency of its services to Melbourne and Sydney (Australia) to five flights per week as well as to Shanghai (China) to seven from five at present.

"As part of international operations expansion plans, we are also planning to connect India with Tel Aviv and Tanzania and Kenya in West Africa," Mr Srivastava said.
30/11/16 PTI/NDTV

New model to forecast fog over airports

To get a better grip on forecasting fog, a series of organisations has partnered with the airport authorities here to develop a system that can warn of fog at least 6-24 hours in advance, calculate its severity, and estimate when it is likely to lift enough for flights to take off and land safely.

Predicting a fog is a daunting challenge the world over, primarily because a range of meteorological conditions contribute to it, and it can play out differently even within a city. While the immediate utility would be for aviation, officials associated with the exercise said if the underlying science of the fog-prediction system was perfected, it would be able to warn of extreme pollution events such as the severe smog that enveloped Delhi this year after Diwali.

About 30 instruments have been installed abutting one of the runways in Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, said Madhavan Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, and the first forecasts would be available in January.
01/12/16 Jacob Koshy/The Hindu

Air India is hiring for the post of Technical Assistant: Salary Rs 18,000, apply before December 23

The Airline Allied Services Limited has released an employment notification inviting candidates to apply for the positions of Technical Assistant. The selected candidates will be getting a monthly salary of Rs 18,000.
30/11/16 India Today

Telangana: New airport planned in Kinnersani wildlife sanctuary, seriously!

The Kothagudem airport is facing hurdles as the proposed airport site falls in the Kinnersani wildlife sanctuary and the Punukuduchelka reserve forest and is unlikely to get clearances as the stringent process involves the Supreme Court, the Central Empowered Committee, the Central Board for Wild Life, the Union forests and environment ministry  and the State Wildlife Board.

The sanctuary, which now falls in the Bhadradri-Kothagudem district, is a known habitat of leopards, sambars, spotted deer and gaur. It used to have tigers. Though the Union civil aviation ministry in September last week had given site clearance for the Telangana State  Indu-strial Infrastructure Cor-poration project, the airport can be constructed only if it get all the clearances.

An environment consultant with Greencindia Consulting Private Limited of Ghaziabad, the project consultant for the TS Industrial Infrastructure Corpo-ration, said, “We came to know that the site falls in the sanctuary only a month ago. We have informed the ministry of environment. It is up to the ministry to take a call."

Asked about the chances of getting clearances, the consultant said, “Usually no clearances are granted in a wildlife sanctuary. The diversion of any part of a notified protected area may be considered only under the most exceptional circumstances taking full into account all consequences. For the Kothagudem airport project, the chances are bleak. We have informed this to the project proponent TSIIC."

Of the total 63,000 hecta-res of the sanctuary, aro-und 825 acres is proposed for diversion or denotification to build the airport. Kothagudem district forest officer C. Saravanan said, “The user agency has to obtain clearances as the airport falls in the sanctuary. Once we receive the proposals we will send our remarks.”
01/12/16 U Sudhakar Reddy/Deccan Chronicle

Congress MP seeks revival, upgrade of Silchar airport

Silchar MP Sushmita Dev on Wednesday urged civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju to revive and upgrade the Silchar airport located along the India-Bangladesh border.

The MP met the Union minister in New Delhi and submitted a letter to him in which she said the Silchar airport, situated at Kumbhirgram, 25 km from here, was close to Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram, as well as Bangladesh. Connectivity was a serious problem in the land-locked area and residents of the region had to travel through Meghalaya to reach Guwahati, she added.
01/12/16 The Times Of India

Delhi airport resumes operations after brief suspension due to fog

Flight operations at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi have been resumed after being temporarily suspended early Thursday morning due to dense fog. The fog had brought visibility to below 50 metres.
“The low visibility procedure was implemented at 3 am. ATC is clearing arrivals and departures as per the fog situation,” the official said. He said four aircraft arriving at Delhi airport from different destination were diverted to other airports as they could not land in Delhi.
Flight operations were affected at the Delhi and Lucknow airports on Wednesday morning as well. 18 flights and 50 trains were delayed or rescheduled, while 13 flights were diverted from Delhi’s IGI airport.
01/12/16 The Indian Express

First flight lands at Vadodara’s new airport

The first flight carrying passengers from New Delhi landed at Vadodara's newly inaugurated international airport on Wednesday, making the operational commencement of the facility. "The evening flight of Air India landed from Delhi. From Thursday, the new terminal will become operational as all the 10 scheduled flights will land at the new airport on regular basis," said Sonu Marande, director of Airports Authority of India (AAI), Vadodara.
The new integrated terminal building Vadodara airport was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 22. The new building was not operational so far as airline operators were busy shifting and preparing new counters.
The terminal building is Gujarat's first and country's second GRIHA-rated green international airport and four times bigger than the old airport building at Harni.
01/12/16 The Times Of India

Centre okays Kadapa airport expansion plan

The central government has agreed to expand the Kadapa airport in a bid to encourage air passenger traffic in the backward Rayalaseema region. There are three airports in Rayalaseema but only the airport in Tirupati is currently operational. The airport at Puttaparthi is owned by Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust.
The Kadapa airport is temporarily out of operation. Only one private airliner is operating out of it officially, but the flight status on the website of the airliner shows as `cancelled'. TDP MP CM Ramesh on Wednesday thanked Union civil aviation minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju for clearing the expansion proposal.
According to sources, the Centre has given its nod for expansion of the runway from the present two kilometres to 3.2 km to enable big planes to land at the airport.About Rs 80 crore will be spent on the airport expansion, sources said.
01/12/16 The Times Of India

Mumbai: Airport authority clueless about missing bag

Even after receiving several complaints from a passenger pertaining to his lost baggage, the Airport Authorities of India (AAI) is still clueless of the missing bag. This comes as an embarrassment for the authorities as it has been more than a month since the complaint was lodged and they are unable to trace the bag.

Abdul Aziz Barudgar had boarded an Air India flight (AI 985) to Muscat on October 29, with his family for a vacation but the family’s joyful mood soon turned into a disappointment after they found out that one of their five bags was missing. They realised about the missing bag only after reaching their destination in Muscat.
01/12/16 Swapnil Mishra/The Free Press Journal

Delays, cancellations and chaos at IGI

The season's first dense fog on Wednesday disrupted air traffic at Indira Gandhi International Airport for around four hours, leaving hundreds stranded at the overcrowded terminals. At least 15 flights that were not CAT-III compliant were diverted and eight got cancelled. While bad weather at Delhi delayed 47 flights, another 55 got affected due to various reasons at other airports.
According to meteorological officials, the operations were worst hit between 7.30am and 9.30am as all runway visual range (RVR) equipment recorded visibility below 175 metres at all three runway ends. Visibility at one runway dipped even to 100 metres and low-visibility procedures CAT-IIIA and B had to be implemented with immediate effect for landing, said R K Jenamani, director-in-charge, IGI Met. The relative humidity was 85-100% at the airport during the dense fog.
The conditions improved after 9.30am, said officials. "With Delhi being one of the busiest airports, two hours of bad weather conditions slowed down air traffic. Even an international flight was diverted," said an airport official.
Officials claimed that timely updates were given out and adequate arrangements were made to deal with the increased number of passengers at the terminals, especially at 1D. Additional help desks were set up for cancellation and delay updates, they said, adding that information regarding weather conditions and real flight timings were also being displayed inside the terminals.
01/12/16 The Times Of India

DGCA to probe Mamata flight incident, Parliament informed

Aviation regulator DGCA has ordered an inquiry into as many as three flights, including one carrying West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, reporting low fuel at the same time, as TMC and other opposition parties alleged conspiracy and threat to her life.

TMC raised the issue in both Houses of Parliament alleging that Banerjee's flight was made to hover over Kolkata airport last evening for about half an hour despite the pilot reporting that the plane was low on fuel.

The government vehmently denied any design saying just when West Bengal Chief Minister's Patna-Kolkata Indigo flight reported low on fuel, two other flights of Air India and SpiceJet also called in with the same problem. Banerjee's flight hovered over Kolkata airport for only 13 minutes and it was ensured that the aircraft landed in a safe and orderly manner, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were informed by Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and MoS Jayant Sinha respectively.
01/12/16 PTI/The New Indian Express

Indian airports drive strong Asian growth

According to the latest data from Airports Council International (ACI), regional traffic increased 9.8% in September 2016. But many airports in India reported year-on-year growth in excess of 20%, including Kolkata (+29.8%), Delhi (+24.1%) and Hyderabad (+24.0%).

Other regional hubs also experienced strong growth, including Phuket (+23.0%), Nanjing (+19.5%) and Kuala Lumpur (+15.4%), while South Korea’s main airports, including Seoul Incheon and Busan, both saw growth of more than 20%, as the country recovered from a poor 2015.
01/12/16 Mark Elliott/Travel Daily India

Jaipur Airport to beat fog this season, gets CAT IIIB

Passengers flying in and out of Jaipur airport are likely to face less delays or cancellations of their flights during the on-going winter season as the AAI-run aerodrome is all set to become CAT-IIIB airport from early next month.

The CAT-IIIB operations at the airport here would help aircraft land in dense fog conditions with this hi-tech navigation and landing equipment.

Jaipur Airport is already equipped with ILS (Cat-II), which has an RVR (runway visual range) of 300 meters and is not adequate to help flights land in thick fog due to poor visibility.

"Jaipur Airport will become CAT-IIIB compliant from 5 AM of December 8," a senior airport official said.

Domestic airlines are required to deploy only CAT-III compliant planes and crew trained to fly under low visibility conditions while operating in and out of an airport equipped with CAT IIIB system.
30/11/16 PTI/Business Standard

Wife of wanted criminal detained by ED in Chennai airport

The wife a man, accused of crimes including murder and suspected to be hiding in Dubai, was today detained by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on her arrival at the airport here from the Middle East country.

ED officials detained the 45 year-old woman when she arrived here from Dubai, airport sources said.

The woman's husband Kancheepuram-based Sridhar Dhanapal is wanted in many cases of extortion and murder besides others and is suspected to have fled to Dubai a few years ago.
30/11/16 PTI/Business Standard

Parking at airport to cost up to Rs 30 more from today

Parking charges for cars at the domestic and international airports are to undergo an increase of Rs 20 to Rs 30 from Thursday . The charges vary depending on the length of time for which a vehicle is parked and the category of parking lot chosen.
Motorists and tourist bus owner associations expressed anger over the development, saying the charges were already exorbitant. Airport sources said the increase was justified as the parking charge was being reviewed after "a long gap of two years" as a result of inflation.
01/12/16 Somit Sen/The Times Of India

When animals take the upper hand

A group of simians once loitered on the Chennai airport runway. The alert air traffic controller informed the pilot who was cleared for take-off and saved the situation. Man may think he has tamed animals. But beasts are known to transgress into human habitats and even take the upper hand occasionally.

Stray dogs sometimes slip in through open gates of airports and enter the operational areas causing an headache to airport officials. At the Chennai airport, pigeons once took refuge on the roof of the passenger lounge. The birds, which had entered through the open doors, refused to vacate their abodes. Immaculately dressed passengers found their dresses soiled by droppings from the roof.

Birds also frequent airfields to catch worms and flies found on vegetation near the runways. Airport officials set off firecrackers near the runways to scare away the birds which compete with planes for airspace. Stray dogs have killed people in Kerala. Even gold medals have been offered for culling stray dogs. Unfortunately, people feed them. When they proliferate and threaten human beings, people want to exterminate them. People owning dogs as pets take them out for walks, which use the roads as comfort rooms. Often dogs dictate terms to their owners.
01/12/16 P Subramanian/The New Indian Express

Airline asked to refund money

A consumer forum has directed the managing director of flight carrier SpiceJet Ltd to refund a ticket amount with interest along with providing litigation expenses to a city resident for negligence and deficiency in services.
According to Malar Karthikeyan of Velachery, she had booked a ticket from Chennai to Pune for May 27, 2012 for Rs 8, 416 to attend an official training programme. She reached the airport "well in advance", at 4.05pm against the scheduled departure of the flight at 4.50pm. The personnel of the airlines, however, refused to issue her a boarding pass saying the check-in time had elapsed. The airlines had sold her ticket to someone else at a higher price, said Malar.
01/12/16 The Times Of India