Saturday, December 10, 2016

Makeover time for aviation rules

Kites and balloons — "whether fixed or free" — are included in the list of aircraft under the rules governing Indian aviation. Legally speaking, flying a kite needs a licence just like one needed to fly a plane. Flying a kite without a licence is reason enough to land you in jail.
You don't need a licence to operate your 'wireless' mobile phone. But aviation rules stipulate that a pilot must have a radio telephonic licence from ministry of communication to fly planes. The radio telephonic licence is a concept from an era where wireless communication was limited. America does not require its commercial pilots to have this licence.
Any police officer above the rank of constable can ask for the pilots' licence for inspection. The security team of a SPG protectee recently did just that. Indian skies may be home to the world's most modern aircraft but the country's civil aviation is still governed by rules framed over eight decades ago. Though amended from time to time, several gems like the ones mentioned above remain in force even today under the Aircraft Act, 1934 and Aircraft Rules, 1937.
10/12/16 Saurabh Sinha/The Times Of India

More aircraft, more flyers, but no pilots

Flash sales and discounted tickets may have ensured a good portion of citizens take to the skies but the rapid expansion in the aviation industry has presented a bigger problem to airline operators – that of pilot shortage.

While an airline typically needs 10 pilots per aircraft, most Indian carriers have brought it down to 8. Currently, India has 5,000 trained pilots but according to experts, the requirement will rise to 9,000 in the next two years.

“Many of our narrow body pilots are taking up opportunities in carriers operating in the Gulf, Indonesia, Philippines, Korea and Vietnam. Suffice to say, there is an urgent need for flight commanders in the country,” said aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju.

According to a study conducted by the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Asia-Pacific region will need 2,30,000 pilots by 2030. While this mandates training at least 16,000 people annually, interestingly in India, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issues only around 900 pilot licences each year.

“Around four to five passenger aircrafts are imported each month by airlines which translates to a requirement of 40-50 trained co-pilots and commanders every 30 days,” said a senior Indigo official.
10/12/16 Aditya Anand/Mumbai Mirror

AirSewa initiative launched by Indian Government to redress aviation grievances

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has come up with a new initiative AirSewa, which is also available as a mobile application for smartphone users. The launch was announced by Jayant Sinha, Minister of Civil Aviation in a tweet on Friday.
The AirSewa website also has the feature to access flight details and airport information apart from the advertised feature of lodging grievances. The website also contains a series of frequently asked questions divided into categories, passengers, baggage, security, special needs and license. While these questions address the general questions which the passengers might have, access to the features are not limited to guest visitors.
The grievance window of the website is pretty much detailed and the first question is what is the grievance related to and the user has the option to choose from a list of aviation related divisions like Airport, Airline, Immigration, Customs, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security of India and helicopters. Followed by that the user can state their grievance in 1024 characters. They are also provided with the option to attach file, which can be anything from videos to document file. Then follows the details of the journey or the flight details followed by the personal information.
The AirSewa initiative also comes with the option where an user can actually track the status of her/his grievance using either the reference code which they will provided once a grievance is registered or their mobile phone numbers.
10/12/16 Uddipta Das/India

Mamata flight scare: Pilots lie about running out of fuel to skip traffic, get priority landing

Pilots of at least three flights, including one operated by market leader IndiGo, lied to air traffic controllers about being short on fuel to get priority landing at an airport, according to an investigation by the country’s aviation safety regulator.
The incident occurred on November 30, when pilots of an IndiGo plane radioed traffic controllers at Kolkata airport the jet was running out of fuel and it should be allowed to land, bypassing more than half a dozen aircraft waiting in queue. An Air India Ltd. aircraft, ahead of IndiGo, also claimed the same after listening to the conversation, while another plane operated by SpiceJet Ltd. also followed suit, the investigation showed.
None of the aircraft ran the risk of an empty tank, and all of them had enough jet fuel to fly to an alternative airport and attempt at least two landings, or to circle around Kolkata for half an hour, a senior official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation told reporters in New Delhi, asking not to be identified citing rules.
Airport congestion is increasingly becoming a serious issue in India — the fastest growing major aviation market in the world — as carriers struggle to maintain their on-time performance, a key selling point to low-cost customers. The average time an aircraft spends circling before it can land in Mumbai during peak hours is about 45 minutes to an hour, versus 25 minutes for Singapore and zero for Qatar, according to Dubai-based Martin Consulting LLC.
09/12/16 Bloomberg/The Indian Express

Delhi-Kanpur flight from December 10

The Delhi-Kanpur flight will now operate as scheduled for December 10.
The clearance that was awaited from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for operating the flight between the two destinations has come. The concern before the DGCA was bad weather, especially fog which reduces the visibility.
The civil aviation ministry has also given nod for operating the flight. Air India has agreed to operate its 72-seater plane between Delhi and Kanpur.
Two days ago, the fate of the plane whether it will land at Chakeri Airport or not was not clear due to bad weather, sources told TOI.
The sources said that in a high-level meeting held in Delhi on Wednesday, the civil aviation ministry finalised that the inaugural flight will land at Kanpur's Chakeri Airport on December 10 so that regular flight operations can begin. Senior Air India officials were present during the meeting.
On December 10, the inaugural flight will land at Chakeri Airport after taking off from Delhi. The 72-seater plane will land at Chakeri Airport. From December 13, regular flights would operate between the two destinations. This is a good news for the people, who otherwise have to board their flight from Amausi Airport in Lucknow.
10/12/16 The Times Of India

How IndiGo got past its rivals and flew CAT-III within five months

Aviation regulator DGCA has pulled up Spicejet, Air India and Air India Express for not being adequately prepared to deal with poor visibility during the winter.

Providing special training to pilots in order to help them deal with just about 15 days of fog-induced low visibility entails an additional cost that airlines are generally averse to incurring. Besides, it is quite a cumbersome task to get DGCA approval. Vistara and AirAsia India, for instance, were given the to go-ahead to fly in low-visibility conditions only last month, almost three years after they commenced operations. However, it took the country’s largest carrier, IndiGo, only five months to get DGCA's nod, meaning it was deemed capable to operate in low-visibility conditions in the very first winter of operations. This is the story of how IndiGo managed that almost a decade ago.

Every winter, fog conditions disrupt flights, giving the media a big enough reason to make a noise about flight schedules going haywire, and spurring the aviation ministry to take cognizance of the CAT-III compliance issue. The minister himself calls airline CEOs and owners to check on fog preparedness.

“Pilots need to have practised landings of minimum hours and simulator training and the DGCA has to be provided with supporting documents and data from flight data recorder,” says an operations head of an airline.

IndiGo promoters, Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal, had to be given credit for putting in place a team that was trained to meet the operational grind characteristic of the highly-regulated Indian aviation sector.
09/12/16 Arindam Majumder/Business Standard

Air India extends waiver period for cancellation, rescheduling of Port Blair flights till December 12

National carrier Air India today extended the waiver period for cancellation, rescheduling and other related charges for its flight to and fro Port Blair by three more days till December 12. Earlier on Wednesday, the Government carrier had said it has decided to waive all cancellations, rescheduling and other related charges till today for travel to and from Port Blair due to cyclonic weather conditions in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
“Waiver on applicable penalties of re-issuance, date change, no-show, and cancellation and refund charges has been extended for travel from/to Port Blair, The waiver is applicable for both domestic and international flights, on all tickets issued on or before December 9 for travel period during December 6 to December 12,” the airline said in a statement.
Cyclonic weather conditions caused by a severe depression over southeast Bay of Bengal, led to heavy rainfall, strong winds and rough sea conditions over the past three days.
09/12/16 PTI/The Indian Express

Airport security measures: These six Indian airports will no longer require security stamps on hand luggage tags

Soon airline passengers at six major airports across the country will not have to worry about the possibility of missing their flights due to long queues at security checkin counters. The passengers will not have to get their hand baggage stamped at security checkin before boarding a flight.
A pilot project will be launched in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad airport, that plans to do away with the baggage tags and if successful, the move could be followed at other airports at well. The aim of introducing the new rule is to make air travel experience smooth and hassle-free for the passengers, Press Trust of India reported.
During a meeting between security force and top executives of domestic carriers, the proposal (which was suggested by aviation secretary R N Choubey) was accepted.
09/12/16 Kalyani Pandey/International Business Times

Five Indian airports to do away with cabin baggage tags

As part of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) followed at all the airports in India, every passenger boarding a flight is obligated to get a tag for the cabin baggage, which is then stamped at the security check and checked by the security personnel at the boarding gates to ensure that no unchecked baggage enters the aircraft.
Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey said, “We recently issued orders to do away with the stamping of hand baggage tags at the time of security screening. The practice will be introduced on a pilot basis at five airports and if successful, may be expanded to other airports across the country. This will save passengers’ time while boarding and will not be a security hassle in any manner.”
This practice of all cabin baggage carrying a rubber-stamped tag by the security personnel is not followed in the United States and European countries. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which looks after security at airports, is likely to implement the move within a week, added Choubey.
As this move would speed up the boarding process, the decision is welcomed by representatives of air passengers. D Sudhakara Reddy, National President of Air Passengers’ Association of India said, “There are many first-time fliers who are unaware of the need for baggage tags. They stand in the security queue only to be told much later, either by a fellow passenger or security personnel, that tags are required. Such passengers go all the way back to the airline counter to collect the tag, which leads to delays.”
09/12/16 Gopanjali Roy/Biz@India

Air India to deploy Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet on Delhi-Mumbai-Delhi route

Air India said on Friday that it will deploy its iconic Boeing 747 jumbo jet for one flight on the Delhi-Mumbai route from next Wednesday.
"AI to operate Queen of the Sky Boeing 747 on Delhi-Mumbai-Delhi from December 14," the airline said. The Boeing 747 will take off from Delhi at 8 am and the return flight from Mumbai will take off at 7 pm.
Aviation minister Jayant Sinha had recently told TOI that given the crunch situation at Mumbai Airport which does not have any free slots to accommodate more flights, the government may allow only wide body aircraft, even for domestic flights, to operate in the peak morning and evening hours to ensure more people get in and out of the Mega City in those maximum demand periods.
Air India and Jet Airways, the only two Indian carriers that have wide body planes in their fleet, have started deploying their big planes like the B-747, 777, 787 and Airbus A-330s on certain high density domestic routes.
"For Mumbai, we are examining how to adjust landing slots. The most important morning and evening slots may be given to the biggest aircraft so that more people can travel in and out of the city at highest demand times instead of narrow body," Jayant Sinha had told TOI.
09/12/16 Saurabh Sinha/The Times Of India

Three pilots of different airlines lied of fuel shortage to secure emergency landing: DGCA

This incident happened on November 30, when pilots of an IndiGo plane radioed movement controllers at Kolkata air terminal that the flight was coming up short on fuel and it ought to be permitted to arrive, bypassing the 12 flights holding up in line.

An Air India Ltd. airplane, in front of IndiGo, likewise asserted the same after listening to the discussion, while another plane worked by SpiceJet Ltd. likewise stuck to this same pattern, the examination showed.

None of the airplane risked a void tank, and every one of them had enough fly fuel to travel to an optional air terminal and attempt at least two arrivals, or to hover around Kolkata for 60 minutes, a senior authority at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation told reporters in New Delhi, requesting that he not to be identified citing rules.
09/12/16 India TV

Govt infused INR 23,993 cr funds in AI: Civil Aviation Minister

According to The Free Press Journal report,,the Govt said that it has already infused funds to the tune of INR 23,993 crore in the National flag carrier Air India from 2011- 12 till November this year. Air India is surviving on a INR 30,231 crore bailout package extended by the previous UPA government in 2012 for a 10-year period and also equity support for payment of principal/interest of the non-convertible debentures.
09/12/16 Travel Biz Monitor

Navy chopper makes emergency landing

A single-engine, light-utility Chetak helicopter, on a routine sortie from the INS Vikramaditya, encountered an engine malfunction off Canacona and was forced to make an emergency landing at a popular resort in Canacona. The cause of the problem was a sudden drop in oil pressure around 7am on Friday morning and the helicopter made an emergency landing around 7.15am.
According to senior naval officers at INS Hansa, a team of engineers from INS Hansa was dispatched to repair the stricken craft.
The Chetak helicopter plays numerous roles in the Indian Navy, including search and rescue (SAR), replenishment of men and material, casualty evacuation, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), and is an essential cog for fleet operations at sea.
“The Chetak helicopter experienced a technical snag inflight due to a low oil pressure. Any variation in oil temperature of a helicopter can cause a snag. The pilots adopted emergency procedures and landed safely in South Goa,” flag officer commanding Goa area (FOGA) and flag officer naval aviation rear admiral Puneet Bahl said, in an official statement.
Serving in the Indian Armed forces since the 1960s, the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HCL) built Chetak is based on the Alouette III and was built under licence from a French state-owned firm, Aerospatiale. Their production stopped in 1990 and several countries such as Argentina, Denmark and Ireland replaced the Alouette III long ago.
10/12/16 The Times Of India

Govt bigwigs to board first civil flight

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will inaugurate the civil terminal Bathinda airport on December 11 while Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju will preside over the ceremony.
The day will also mark the launch of first civil flight from Delhi to Bathinda of Alliance Air with the Civil Aviation Minister, Union Minister for Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal on board.
Giving this information here today, Bathinda Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori said the terminal had been developed at a cost of around Rs 25 crore, using glass and steel to allow maximum use of natural light.
The airport has various passenger facilities such as conveyor belts, baggage area, fire extinguishers and car parking. The terminal has been planned keeping in view its future needs.
A canopy made towards the city area joins the main hall with the rest of the building that gives passengers environment-friendly sitting arrangement.
The Deputy Commissioner said the airport was just 30 km away from the Bathinda railway station and 7 km from National Highway 10 (Bathinda-Malout road).
10/12/16 The Tribune

Revoke grounding of pilots in Didi drama, demands Air India

Air India has formally asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to immediately revoke the week-long suspension of two of its pilots in the West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee "low fuel" flight case.
The regulator had suspended two pilots of IndiGo (on which Banerjee was flying from Patna to Kolkata last Wednesday) and two each of AI and SpiceJet which were ahead of her plane in landing sequence to Kolkata. All these pilots had reported running low on hovering fuel.
10/12/16 Saurabh Sinha/The Times Of India

Lucknow, Jaipur airports upgraded to CATIIIB

In a big boost ahead of the fog season when flight disruptions peak, the Jaipur and Lucknow airports have been upgraded to CAT IIIB, which enables aircraft to land when the visibility is down to 50 metres.

Delhi is only other airport in the country that is CATIII B compliant.

“The task to upgrade Jaipur and Lucknow airport to ILS CAT-IIIB operations is accomplished by Airports Authority of India (AAI) on the assigned target date. With effect from December 8, Jaipur and Lucknow airports have become CAT-IIIB compliant airports,” AAI said in a statement.

Earlier Jaipur Airport was equipped with ILS, precision approach CAT-I and with this procedures aircraft were able to land when Runway Visual Range of 550m or more.

Lucknow airport was equipped with ILS precision approach CAT-II and under this procedure aircraft were only able to land with Runway Visual Range is 300M or more.
09/12/16 Anupama Airy/Defence Aviation Post

AI to deploy Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet on Delhi-Mumbai route

Air India will deploy its iconic Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet for a flight on the Delhi-Mumbai route from next Wednesday. The Queen of the Skies or B-747, which is used as a VVIP plane for long-haul travel by the President, Vice President and Prime Minister, will take off from Delhi at 8am and the return flight will take off at 7pm.
Union aviation minister Jayant Sinha had recently told TOI that given the crunch situation at Mumbai airport, which does not have free slots to accommodate more flights, the government may allow only wide-body aircraft - even for domestic flights - to operate in the peak morning and evening hours to ensure more people get in and out of the mega city in those maximum demand periods.
AI and Jet Airways — the only two Indian carriers that have wide-body planes in their fleet — have started deploying their big planes like the B-747, 777, 787 and Airbus A-330s on certain high-density domestic routes.
10/12/16 The Times Of India

Only 618 of 7,869 people paid compensation for land acquired for Goa's new Mopa airport

Of the 7,869 occupants/tenants entitled for compensation with respect to land acquired for the new Mopa greenfield international project, 618 people have been paid compensation ranging between 25 to 80 per sqm, the Union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha stated.

Sinha informed that a total of 87 people have applied for enhanced compensation.

The total area acquired by the Goa government for construction of the airport is 78,41,730sqm where the area marked for commercial utilization is 18.2% of the total project area.
09/12/16 ET Realty

Chakeri airport set to spring back to life

The Chakeri airport at Ahirwan in Kanpur had been a much sought after airport when flights to Delhi, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune and Mumbai were regular in 1970s. But in the past five years, the flights have been operational here on and off. The airport is partially public and owned by Indian Air Force.
After one-and-a-half year, a flight from Delhi will land here on Saturday (December 10). Chakeri airport becomes lively when personal personal planes of VIPs and ministers land. The airport otherwise wears a deserted look.
10/12/16 The Times Of India

Wheelchair-bound passenger 'humiliated' at Bangalore airport

A physically handicapped person has alleged that he was severely "humiliated" and "mocked" by a security officer at the Bangalore airport when he was to board a flight for the national capital. The incident comes even as the Disabilities Bill is being tabled in Parliament. The Bill proposes a jail term of up to two years and a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh for people who discriminate against the differently abled.

Twenty nine -year-old Nipun Malhotra, a disabled rights activist, who suffers from a congenital disorder called arthrogryposis and is wheelchair-bound, was allegedly asked to bend and stand despite his physical condition.
10/12/16 Sana Shakil/DNA

Proposal for new flight service in Bengaluru–Tiruchi– Puducherry sector

After meeting Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Kiran Bedi recently seeking introduction of Air India flight service in the Bengaluru – Tiruchi – Puducherry sector, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has submitted the same proposal to the Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy.

A team comprising of CII Member, Tiruchi Achhar Singh, Tiruchi International Airport Director K. Gunasekaran and Puducherry Airport Director Venkatachalapathy met Mr. Narayanasamy at Puducherry on Thursday in this connection.

During the meeting, Dr. Achhar Singh made a presentation on the proposal to operate Air India flight service from Bengaluru to Puducherry via Tiruchi along with details of its viability.

The Tiruchi Airport Director on his part gave an overview of the existing facilities available at the Tiruchi international airport.
10/12/16 R. Rajaram/The Hindu

Night landing facility still awaits at Bamrauli airport

At a time when thick fog has derailed the train and air traffic in the Sangam city, denizens continue to suffer, in terms of flight connectivity in the absence of instrument landing system, a facility which has yet not seen the day of light.
In the present month, dominated by fog, just a single flight has landed at right time at the Bamrauli airport including that on Thursday. Because of the cancellation of flights, the passengers were shifted to Varanasi and Lucknow for their journey to Delhi. Besides the adverse conditions, it is the absence of instrumental landing system which has made the people Allahabad suffer.
Even though the airport of Allahabad was among the first four international airports of the country, yet it still lacks the facility of night landing or when visibility is poor. The airport was built in 1919 and served as an international airport till 1946 with direct flights to London till 1932.
For installing the system (ILS), the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has been allocated a fund of around Rs 10 crores and half of the work for localized antenna has already been completed. "The entire system has three parts, localized antenna, glide path antenna and approach path and the work for the first part is half completed", said Airport director, Civil Air Terminal, Allahabad, SR Mishra.
09/12/16 Rajeev Mani/The Times Of India

India's Jet Airways mulls equity raise to expand intl routes

Jet Airways(9W, Mumbai Int'l) may be planning to raise USD300 million in equity, Bloomberg reports, citing confidential sources. Selling stock at a premium to the current share price, the raise could allow the airline to expand its international offerings.

Under its current financial structure, publicly listed Jet Airways is owned 51% by Chairman and founder Naresh Goyal, 24% by Etihad Airways (EY, Abu Dhabi Int'l), and the remainder by private investors. Earlier this year, Etihad was in talks over the proposed acquisition of a further 25% stake in the Indian carrier.
10/12/16 ch-aviation

Friday, December 09, 2016

Over 5000 complaints against Air India between January and October: Government

Government today said a total of 5,879 complaints relating to deficiency in service have been received against the national carrier Air India between January and October this year.
The total number of complaints received from January 2016 to October 2016 on the network (Air India) are 5,879, Civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.
The Minister said that the complaints arise from deficiency in service which may sometimes be “perception on the part of the complainant”.
“However, Air India records the complaint and tracks them till they reach the logical conclusion,” Raju said.
He said Air India constantly endeavours to upgrade and enhance its facilities and services being provided to its passengers to ensure customer satisfaction.
08/12/16 PTI/The Financial Express

Airport squad plan off

An internal panel of the Union civil aviation ministry has decided to shelve for now its earlier proposal to raise a specialised force for airport security because of the "excessive high costs" the plan would involve.

Ministry officials said the panel, headed by a joint secretary-rank official, had decided to junk the proposal after consultations with the finance ministry.

The plan had been mooted in 2011, when the UPA government was in power, and there have been constant deliberations since, a senior official told The Telegraph .

"However, at a recent meeting to discuss the proposal, it was decided that this was not the proper time yet to go ahead with the plan as it would incur huge expenses," the official said, adding that a few years down the line the proposal could be revived. "But for now it has been scrapped."

Of the 90-odd functional civil airports in the country, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) mans 59. Other paramilitary forces or state police man the rest.

The decision to shelve the proposal comes at a time the International Civil Aviation Organization, a global body, had recommended that India put in place effective safety mechanisms and set up a specialised security force in the wake of terror attacks and suicide bombings at major international airports.

An ICAO expert team is scheduled to visit India in March to assess the country's safety preparedness at its airports.

The ICAO's role assumes significance as the US Federal Aviation Administration had downgraded India's civil aviation sector for 15 months - between January 2014 and March 2015 - over safety oversight, based on feedback and recommendations from the global body.
08/12/16 Sumi Sukanya Dutta/The Telegraph

Five airports to get rid of hand baggage tags soon

Flyers in India may soon be spared the hassle of getting hand baggage tags stamped at security check and flashing them before boarding the aircraft. A pilot project at five airports -Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru -proposes to do away with the tags and if successful, will be replicated at other airports as well.
"This move will enhance passenger experience at airports," said aviation secretary R N Choubey , the man behind the move. The CISF has been told to roll out the project at the earliest. The CISF is responsible for frisking passengers, screening hand bags and stamping boarding cards and cabin baggage tags. Once agencies are satisfied that the move does not compromise security in any way, tagless travel will become the norm, as is the case in western airports.
09/12/16 The Times Of India

IATA hopes India will join CORSIA soon

International Air Transport Association has expressed the hope that India will join Carbon Offsetting and Reporting Scheme for International Aviation popularly called CORSIA which is the market-based measure for international aviation to measure carbon emission.

“India has expressed its concerns but also indicated during the ICAO Assembly that it is reviewing. To be honest India came to the debate quiet late. There is really a question of understanding the implications of CORSIA for India where aviation is growing very quickly and emissions are growing very quickly. India is also a signatory to the Paris agreement we would hope that between now and 2020 India will also join CORSIA as a way to help address its emission,” Paul Steele, Senior Vice President, Member and External Relations told Business Line on the side line of Global Media Day Event here on Thursday.

Meanwhile, with concerns about saving the environment growing, the global airline industry is doing its bit with over 5,500 commercial flights being operated by using a mix of alternative fuels on regular flights.

In the United States, United Airlines regularly uses mix of alternate fuel for flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco. IATA officials told Business Line that the airline had signed a long term take off agreement with a producer who takes urban waste basically house hold waste from as Vegas turns it into jet fuel which is then supplied to Los Angeles airport.
08/12/16 Ashwini Phadnis/The Hindu Business Line

Pilots Behind Mamata Banerjee Flight Row Played 'Naughty' For Early Landing

Cockpit crew of the three aircraft reporting short on fuel over Kolkata recently was "crying wolf" and played "naughty" to seek early landing to show good on-time performance, a top DGCA official was quoted by news agency Press Trust of India.

All the three aircraft had, in fact, "enough" fuel and the pilots wanted "early" landing to show "good on-time performance", the official said, requesting anonymity.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had ordered an inquiry to find out how three flights, including the IndiGo aircraft which had West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee onboard along with other passengers, could fly low on fuel into Kolkata at the same time.

Subsequently, it directed the three airlines - IndiGo, Air India and SpiceJet - to take off duty the entire cockpit crew of the three aircraft.

A row had erupted after the Trinamool Congress alleged that the IndiGo aircraft carrying its chief Ms Banerjee was not accorded priority in landing despite fuel shortage.

"All three aircraft had enough fuel, enough not only for holding pattern but also to land twice at the diversionary airport, which in this case was Bhubaneswar. In the landing sequence, Air India was on sixth position while IndiGo flight was on eighth slot. SpiceJet aircraft was on the last position of the three.
08/12/16 PTI/NDTV

Delhi-Kanpur flight from December 10

The Delhi-Kanpur flight will now operate as scheduled for December 10. The clearance that was awaited from Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for operating the flight between the two destinations has come. The concern before the DGCA was bad weather, especially fog which reduces the visibility . The civil aviation ministry has also given nod for operating the flight. Air India has agreed to operate its 72-seater plane between Delhi and Kanpur.
On December 10, the inaugural flight will land at Chakeri Airport after taking off from Delhi. The 72-seater plane will land at Chakeri Airport. During its return journey , it will take passengers who have booked the seats.From December 13, regular flights would operate between the two destinations. This is a good news for the people, who otherwise have to board their flight from Amausi Airport in Lucknow.
09/12/16 The Times Of India

Airlines asked to stick to advisory on operating in low visibility

A day after 362 flights were delayed at IGI Airport due to weather and other issues, DGCA on Thursday directed domestic airlines to adhere to its advisory on operating aircraft in low visibility, making it clear that no flights be planned during zero visibility and only CAT III aircraft be scheduled in fog. The aviation regulator has also directed the airlines to reschedule non CAT III aircraft between 10 AM to 8 PM.
While the regulator observed that 38 flights including 24 departures were also cancelled and three flights diverted during the low visibility period at IGIA on Wednesday, the Delhi Airport put out
DIAL in its statement said only 24 flights were delayed because of weather and 34 cancelled during low visibility period due to “other reasons”. It had also said that no flight was cancelled during the low visibility period yesterday.
In a communication to all airline heads and Delhi Airport authorities, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said, “Once again all are directed to obey (its) instructions in letter and spirit.
08/12/16 PTI/The Indian Express

Govt asks aviation ministry to resume flights from Mysuru

More than a year after Air India’s Alliance Air suspended its daily flight services to Mysuru airport, the state government has written to Civil Aviation Ministry to connect flights from Mysuru to other cities such as Mumbai, Goa and Hyderabad. The Air India had only operated fights from Bengaluru to Mysuru and there was poor response.

The Mandakalli airport was recently in the news for facilitating the operations of Indian Air Force’s Boeing C-17 Globemaster III to transport currency notes to various destinations in India following demonetisation. The airport that was neglected by successive governments without any concrete expansion plans suddenly shot to fame after it became the nerve centre of currency transport.

In 2015, the Air India, which received financial incentives from Karnataka Tourism Department, had started its operations on September 3 and continued till November 17, 2015. When Air India was operating flights, most of the times it carried just one or two passengers.
08/12/16 CT Bureau/City Today

Maharashtra govt again renames airport & CST, adds ‘Maharaj’

The state cabinet on Thursday decided to rename the city airport and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) in order to add the honorific 'Maharaj' to the name. So the new names will now be Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT).
A legislator who did not wish to be named said the renaming seemed to have been done to woo the Maratha community, particularly in view of Maratha morchas across the state to demand reservations.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the demand to add 'Maharaj' to the names was an old one. Vinayak Mete of the Shiv Sangram Party had first raised the issue last year.
who supports the BJP-led state government, had raised the issue in the legislative council during last year's winter session of the state legislature in Nagpur. He had then said the names of the airport and CST referred to the great Maratha warrior in "singular terms".
The proposal will now be sent to the Union government for its approval.
Girish Bapat, food and civil supplies minister, said the change had been made in honour of the Maratha hero who was a king.
09/12/16 The Times Of India

Airlines capacity to jump to 25% over next 3-4 yrs: ICRA

The airlines are set to add an additional capacity of 20-25 per cent over the next three to four years, even as mounting competition and price war are eating into their yields impacting the bottomlines, says a report.
Despite falling yields, due to increasing competition and the resultant hit on profitability, the airlines' capacity addition is set to clip at CAGR of 20-25 per cent over the next three-four years, domestic rating agency ICRA said in a report today.
"The industry-wide ASKMs are slated to grow at a strong CAGR of 20-25 per cent over next 2 to 4 years. This will be driven by sizeable order backlog of the market leader Indigo, and also at GoAir, Jet Airways and SpiceJet coupled with the expected fleet expansion of Vistara and AirAsia.
"The capacity expansion will also be boosted by the launch of two new airlines, Air Carnival and Zoom Air," the report said.
08/12/16 PTI/The Times Of India

National Civil Aviation policy

The Ministry of Civil Aviation released the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP)-2016 on 15th June 2016 with a vision to create an eco-system to make flying affordable for the masses and to enable 30 crore domestic ticketing by 2022 and 50 crore by 2027, and international ticketing to increase to 20 crore by 2027. Similarly, cargo volumes should increase to 10 million tonnes by 2027.

Ministry of Civil Aviation has already released Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) - UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) for promoting Regional connectivity in the country as envisaged in NCAP - 2016. The Ministry has modified the requirement for 5/20 and all airlines can now commence international operations provided that they deploy 20 aircraft or 20% of total capacity (in term of average number of seats on all departures put together), whichever is higher for domestic operations. The Ministry has issued revised categorization of routes under RDG which will apply from the Winter Schedule of 2017. Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) has been issued by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for liberalizing Domestic Code-share Points in India within the framework of the Air Services Agreement (ASA).
08/12/16 Business Standard

Near miss for 2 domestic flights over Nagpur

Alarm bells rang in the cockpits of two flights after they came in close proximity to each other while flying over Nagpur on December 2 (Friday).

The incident, which involved a Jet Airways Boeing 737-800 and an Alliance Air ATR turboprop, has invited a probe from the aviation safety regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Sources told Mumbai Mirror that the Air Traffic Control (ATC) had assigned the Jet Airways flight 9W792, travelling from Indore to Delhi, to fly at 16,000 feet, but the flight ascended to 17,800 feet bringing it in close proximity to the Gwalior-Mumbai Alliance Air flight CD-628, which was flying at its assigned 18,000 feet.

“A case of air proximity was reported due to a serious breach of separation. This resulted in the lateral distance (horizontal) being reduced to 4 nautical miles,” said ATC officials.
09/12/16 Aditya Anand/Mumbai Mirror

Jet Airways, IndiGo, AirAsia India In Low-Fare War, Tickets From Rs 799

As the year draws to a close, IndiGo, Jet Airways, AirAsia India are among the airlines that have announced promotional schemes on advance bookings. India's biggest airline IndiGo has extended its sale, offering tickets as low as Rs 799. IndiGo's Rs 799 offer will be open till December 10 and is applicable on travel between December 20, 2014 and October 28, 2017.

According to IndiGo's website, the Rs 799 offer is applicable on Kochi-Thiruvananthapuram and Coimbatore-Chennai routes. Under the IndiGo's offer, Bengaluru-Mumbai tickets start from Rs 1683 and Delhi-Mumbai from Rs 1,998. IndiGo has not disclosed the number of seats on offer under the Rs 799 offer.
09/12/16 Surajit Dasgupta/NDTV

Adampur airport project put on fast track ahead of polls

In an attempt to get the foundation stone for the proposed civil airport at Adampur laid by the Prime Minister ahead of the implementation of the election code, the officials of the ruling SAD-BJP government are working overtime to get the acquisition process cleared at the earliest.
While the senior BJP leadership had attempted to get the airport project inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent visit at Ludhiana and Anandpur Sahib, the same could not be done as the office of the Prime Minister (PMO) wanted the government to first get the acquisition process cleared and payments done to farmers before the event.
After a series of quick meetings with farmers of Kandola and Dumanda villages in Adampur, Land Acquisition Officer-cum-Sub-District Magistrate RK Verma has sent a proposal seeking Rs 14.8 crore for acquiring 40 acres of land (Rs 37 lakh per acre) at the site.
The ruling alliance wants to make the Airport issue as the biggest achievement for Doaba region ahead of the elections. However, since there is still a long process involved, leaders of the SAD-BJP ruling alliance have been attempting to give it a push.
09/12/16 The Tribune

Heli-tourism awaits DGCA nod

While the heli-tourism project was expected to be launched by Dasara, sources said the proposal for helicopter rides from Vizag to Araku is yet to receive clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
According to the sources, officials from the DGCA had recently visited the city and inspected the site for the helipad and also suggested slight changes related to the alignment of the helicopter services being planned for tourists. They said the helicopter rides are expected to take off only after the DGCA issues the requisite clearance for the project.
Vuda sources said the helipad near the Vuda Park has already been constructed and is ready for use by heli-tourism operator Skychoppers Private Limited.
Meanwhile, Vuda vice-chairman T Babu Rao Naidu told TOI that a showcause notice has been issued to the heli-tourism operator to explain the reasons for the delay in starting the service. He said Vuda has provided all the necessary facilities required for the helitourism project.
09/12/16 The Times Of India

Domestic passenger traffic up 22.7 pc in Oct: IATA

India's domestic passenger traffic grew by 22.7 per cent in October, a global airlines' association said on Wednesday.

"Domestic demand climbed 5.6 per cent in October compared to October 2015, which was matched by a similar increase in capacity," the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in its global passenger traffic data for October.

"There was continued wide variation in individual country results, with India and China enjoying double-digit growth rates while other markets experienced much slower growth and Brazil remained in decline."

According to the data, India's domestic revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) and available seat kilometres (ASK) were the highest amongst the major aviation markets such as Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, the Russian Federation and the US.
08/12/16 SME Times

Jet Airways appoints Aldrin Kenneth as Country Manager - Thailand & Indo-China

Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, announced the appointment of Aldrin Kenneth as Country Manager – Thailand & Indo-China.

An industry veteran with over 17 years of experience with leading global airlines, Mr. Kenneth joined Jet Airways as the Area Manager for Dubai/ Sharjah & Northern Emirates in 2008 and helped establish and strengthen the airline’s footprint in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
 
UAE, a key market for Jet Airways, houses not only the headquarters of its partner - Etihad Airways but also Abu Dhabi, one of the airline’s key international gateway for onward as well as domestic connectivity into India.

In his role as Country Manager – Thailand & Indo-China, Mr. Kenneth will be responsible for Jet Airways’ performance in the region including its commercial aspects and overall operations. He will leverage his vast airline experience to not only use innovative means to grow the business but also take steps to engage with key consumer communities to strengthen the airline’s brand story and value propositions in the rapidly growing, fast-paced travel market between Thailand and India.
09/12/16 Theodore Koumelis/Travel Daily News

After several flight cancellations, DGCA pulls up airlines for poor fog preparedness

Civil aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday directed domestic passenger carriers to follow its guidelines on low visibility operations and not to plan flights to and from IGI airport during zero visibility periods.
The DGCA gave the directions through a letter to the airlines. The development comes after 38 flight cancellations and 362 delays were reported after low visibility procedures (LVP) were initiated at the IGI airport on Wednesday.
"Today IGI Airport again experienced a spell of fog when the duration of LVP was for 15 hours and 26 minutes. However, at no stage RVR (runway visual range) on both the runways had gone below 125 meters," the DGCA letter read.
"During the LVP period, there were three diversions one each of Air India (AI-974), Air India Express (IX-116) and Spicejet (SG-012)."
09/12/16 Business Standard

GoAir launches seat selection at Rs 99 onwards

GoAir, one of India’s fastest growing airlines, has announced the pre-booking of seats starting at an industry low price of Rs 99.

“Commuters can now pre-book the seats of their choice for a hassle free journey across all sectors at the lowest available rates across various blocks,” the airline said.

Mumbai-based GoAir is the only airline to initiate this affordable seat selection offer during the festive season. “This offer makes available the convenience of having a seat of their choice and comfort at a marginal cost as compared to other such offers available,” the airline said.

Launched in November 2005, GoAir is the aviation foray of the Wadia Group and currently operates across 23 destinations with over 975 weekly flights and approximately 2,000 plus connections weekly.
08/12/16 Defence Aviation India

Air India's last minute ticket sale scheme: 21,678 passengers availed it

A total of 21,678 passengers availed the last minute ticket sale scheme, which was launched by the national carrier Air India in early July this year under which it offered fares equivalent to AC second class of Rajdhani Express, Parliament was informed.

The Government-run airline had on July 9 launched the offer for a limited period, saying that the move was aimed at not only making last-minute bookings more affordable but also to fill up vacant seats.

"The scheme being short term was effective from July 9, 2016, to September 30, 2016 (both days inclusive). (A total of) 21,678 passengers availed the above scheme during this period," Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
08/12/16 PTI/Business Standard

Govt infused INR 23,993 cr funds in AI: Civil Aviation Minister

According to The Free Press Journal report,,the Govt said that it has already infused funds to the tune of INR 23,993 crore in the National flag carrier Air India from 2011- 12 till November this year. Air India is surviving on a INR 30,231 crore bailout package extended by the previous UPA government in 2012 for a 10-year period and also equity support for payment of principal/interest of the non-convertible debentures.
09/12/16 Travel Biz Monitor

Fog measures flop, 2 airlines pulled up

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday pulled up two airlines for their poor preparedness to deal with adverse weather conditions.
Taking note that a large number of flights from the two carriers were being diverted or cancelled during fog due to either non-CAT compliance crew or aircraft, the DGCA issued a direction to be followed by all airlines.
In its directions, DGCA said that close monitoring and planning of flights should be done according to the weather forecast with proper coordination of dedicated teams from Indian Meteorological Department, Delhi International Airport Limited, DGCA and Airport Authority of India. It mentioned that in case of zero visibility, no flight should be planned for Delhi and it should be rescheduled from its point of origin.
09/12/16 The Times Of India

PM to inaugurate new terminal building at Vijayawada airport on January 12

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the new terminal building at Vijaywada airport in Andhra Pradesh on January 12. The airport will cater to air services to the city of Amaravathi, the new upcoming capital of Andhra Pradesh.

A senior Airports Authority of India (AAI) official said that the distance between Amaravathi and the airport at Vijaywada is close to 78 kilometres, for which an eight lane road is also being constructed connected to link both the cities which would reduce the travel time.

The AAI official said that the new airport terminal building at Vijaywada airport will offer to enhance passenger capacity and wider space inside the airport for parking aircraft besides other infrastructure upgrades.

The cities of Guntur and Vijayawada are the major nearby cities to the state capital and Amaravathi is the seat of governance of Andhra Pradesh. It is located on the southern banks of the Krishna river in Guntur district.
08/12/16 The New Indian Express

Mumbai International Airport opens cargo terminal

Mumbai International Airport in India has opened a new cargo terminal offering handling services for heavy, odd-sized and bonded goods.

The terminal will increase GVK Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd's (MIAL) export handling capacity by 500,000t of cargo per annum.

Spread over 7,500m², the facility will provide channels for cargo admittance, X-ray screening and palletisation.

In addition to doubling the airport's current export capacity, the new terminal will enable a faster turnaround for cargo and vehicles, and reduce wait times by 50%.

Lighter export consignments will continue to be handled at the existing export terminal.

The facility will also bolster the terminal’s infrastructure, which will in turn boost further growth in export volumes at MIAL.
08/12/16 Airport-Technology

Gold Worth Rs 59 Lakh Seized at Vizag Airport, 3 Arrested

The customs officials have seized two kg of gold worth Rs 56.8 lakh at the Visakhapatnam airport and arrested three persons on the charge of smuggling.
Commissioner of Customs B Hareram said the contraband was found upon the search of two domestic passengers yesterday.
09/12/16 PTI/News18

Jet Airways to connect Colombo with Bengaluru from Jan 5

Jet Airways on Thursday announced a daily direct flight to Colombo from Bengaluru from January 5. With this, Bengaluru will be the second city after Mumbai to be connected to Colombo and Jet’s third daily service to the Sri Lankan capital, the private carrier said in a statement.
Jet flight 9W 278 will depart from the Kempegowda international airport at 0040 hrs and arrive in Colombo at 0210 hrs. The return flight 9W 277 will leave Colombo at 0310 hrs and arrive in Bengaluru at 0435 hrs.
08/12/16 PTI/The Indian Express

Hijack call to Air India keeps officials on toes

Security agencies were on their toes on Wednesday night, after ‘Land Global Service’, an Air India call centre in Thane received a hijack threat call at 9.55 pm. The call was later termed a non-specific threat call as no information about the route and sector was given, said sources. However, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) was alerted.

In the primary investigation, CISF officials discovered that the caller’s number belonged to a minor boy from Srinagar, Thane. However, police officers from Thane, where the case was registered added that they had approached the telecom company and are yet to get any report or documents belonging to the number, which gave the threat call.
09/12/16 The Asian Age