Friday, December 14, 2018

SC stays Meghalaya HC ultimatum to IndiGo, SpiceJet for launch of flights from Shillong

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Thursday stayed a Meghalaya High Court order that had directed several commercial airlines to set a date for launching operations from Umroi airport, 30 km from Meghalaya’s capital Shillong, to New Delhi and other metros.

The order came on petitions filed by budget carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet against the 7 December high court (HC) order, which had set a week’s deadline for a date to be decided. Other private airlines affected by the order included Jet Airways, Vistara and GoAir.

“The high court order shall remain stayed,” the SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices S.K. Kaul and K.M. Joseph, said.

The high court had directed aviation regulator Director General of Civil Aviation, the civil aviation ministry secretary and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) chairman to convene a meeting and decide when flights would start operating from the airport. The chief justice of the high court had asked the concerned parties, along with the top officials of the airlines in question, to be present in court at the next hearing on Friday if they failed to arrive at a decision.

“[They shall have to] explain why decision for operating flights for Umroi airport has not been taken,” the HC had said.
In its plea filed Wednesday, InterGlobe Aviation, IndiGo’s parent company, said the airport was not equipped to handle the aircraft that the airline primarily used.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing IndiGo, said the Umroi airport was not yet ready to handle passenger traffic, did not have adequate facilities and lacked certain landing capabilities.
13/12/18 Ritika Jain/Print
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