Saturday, April 07, 2018

Smaller Airports to Handle Traffic from Big Ones During Emergencies, says AAI

To lessen passenger inconvenience in case of an emergency leading to airport closure, Airports Authority of India (AAI) has issued guidelines to effectively handle air traffic and stranded passengers at smaller airports.

The guidelines for airport directors, effective from Tuesday, were issued for the time when aircraft are unable to land at their destination airport. Citing the example of an aircraft overshooting the runway at Mumbai airport last year, AAI said such incidents lead to large-scale flight diversions, putting pressure on other major airports that handle such flights.

The operational circular stating guidelines for various stakeholders asks airport directors to prepare a local standard operating procedure (SOP) within 30 days after taking into account the nature of the airport, local weather conditions and availability of parking stands.
The guidelines include complex topics like maintaining serviceability of aerodrome lighting, communication and navigation surveillance to simple topics like handling passengers efficiently and managing the traffic flow. AAI stated that guidelines were issued to keep facilities at diversion airports proactive to ensure that everything is available, and diversion airports are ready to receive the flights.

Airline operators have been asked to arrange for refreshments to on-board passengers even if the waiting time at alternate airport is less than two hours. If the waiting time exceeds two hours, the airline will ask disembark passengers. AAI has also asked airlines to update stranded passengers via text messages.
06/04/18 Neha LM Tripathi/Mcclatchy/AviationPros