Monday, June 05, 2006

AAI creates air turbulence for charter flights

Mumbai: Much to the discomfiture of corporates and other big-ticket clientele, who are the mainstay of the chartered flight industry, most airports maintained by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) remain open only as long as the last flight is due for arrival or departure.
After that the airport literally downs shutters for the day.Almost 90 of the 97 airports belonging to AAI have such specific 'watch hours' which mean they are not available for round-the-clock operations.
If one has to operate a charter flight even an emergency medical evacuation during non-working hours, one has to write to the AAI seeking special permission.
And the fate of your application is entirely up to the AAI's discretion.The cost of extending the watch hour is Rs 1,200 per hour, but often AAI officials do not relent, leaving the high-flier stranded.
05/06/06 Manju V/Times of India
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