Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hindon air force base not acceptable to Air Deccan, Air Odisha

New Delhi: The government’s plan of using Hindon Air Force base as an alternative for Delhi airport is facing a hurdle with new airlines refusing to operate from there citing competitive disadvantage. This has put the success of government’s ambitious Regional Connectivity Scheme under scanner as Air Deccan and Air Odisha – the two new airlines have got more than 80 routes are yet to start operations.

The two new operators have sought permission for at least 16 movements of their planes from the Delhi airport, but has received only four slots. “ For the rest of the slots, we have been asked to consider Hindon Air Force Base, but this will not work for us as operating from Hindon will defeat the entire purpose of seamless connectivity, we have expressed our reservation to the government,” said a senior Air Deccan official.

Poor last mile connectivity between Delhi and Hindon, air force's own operational requirements (which can limit civilian flights) is the issue which the airlines say will have to be dealt with first before starting operations.

“You cannot expect a passenger to take a regional flight to Hindon, then travel an hour in a cab to catch his next flight which will be from Delhi airport, it will defeat the entire purpose of Udan of building seamless air connectivity with hinterland India,” said the Air Deccan official which said it will participate in the second round of bidding process. “The multi-modal connectivity through a fast mode of transport has to be developed first,” he adds.
17/10/17 Arindam Majumdar/Business Standard