Monday, September 04, 2017

Flights diverted from Hyd, Bangalore may land at old airports in those cities

New Delhi: Commercial flights headed to Bangalore and Hyderabad may soon not have to divert to distant Chennai or Nagpur in case they are unable to land at their destination due to any reason. Such planes could simply divert to the nearby old Begumpet and HAL airports which were closed for commercial flights when the two metros got new airports, if the aviation ministry has its way.
Aviation secretary R N Choubey has asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to see how the old airports in the two metros can be used for diversions. The regulator will form a panel to examine all aspects of this move. The government's agreement with GMR-led Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) at Hyderabad and Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) says old airports in the heart of these two cities are not supposed to get any commercial flights after the new ones opened.
"The aviation ministry feels diversions are not schedule commercial operations. If an incoming plane is unable to land at RGIA or BIAL due to any technical reason like runways there not being available after another plane getting stuck on them, why should they have to go all the way to relatively distant Chennai or Nagpur when the old airports are so close by? This is a waste of fuel, time, resource everything," said a highly paced source.
The ministry will talk to the promoters of the new airports in Hyderabad and Bangalore. And if they agree, there will be other issues to focus which could quickly be resolved. HAL is a defence airport which used to have a terminal operated by Airports Authority of India while Hyderabad's Begumpet was entirely of AAI.
04/09/17 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India