Friday, March 17, 2017

IGI choked: No new peak-hour flights in Delhi this summer

Indians may be flying like never before but the infrastructure crunch at metro airports is limiting their choice of flights. The problem is so acute that putting an additional flight in peak hours is becoming tough at most metros.
Delhi airport, for instance, will not be adding a single flight between 7am and 10pm this summer.
Airlines are pleading with Mumbai airport to allow more domestic flights at night as the airport has no additional slots left.
These two airports alone accounted for almost 10 crore of the total (domestic-cum-international) traffic of just over 15 crore last year.
The severe infrastructure crunch at major Indian airports was highlighted during recent deliberations aviation authorities held with airlines to finalise the summer schedule this year.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) cleared a summer schedule of 17,170 domestic flights a week from 77 airports by 12 airlines.
TOI accessed the minutes of the meeting, prepared by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which reveals that big airports are bursting at the seams. So much so that airlines have ordered hundreds of planes but no one knows where they will be parked.
The Delhi airport's representative said at the meeting that "no new flights are being accepted from 7am to 10pm as Delhi airport is full during that period".
Delhi is the only airport in India that has three runways but due to airside infrastructure crunch, the hourly aircraft movement remains way below potential.
The minutes say that while the maximum hourly capacity of IGI Airport's three runways is 75 aircraft (70 schedule and 5 non-schedule), the "practical hourly capacity to be considered for allocation of slots" is much less at 67 (62 schedule and 5 non-schedule).
17/03/17 Saurabh Sinha/The Times Of India

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