Wednesday, July 21, 2010

India Sets New Procedures At Mumbai To Ease Delays


AWIN First Jul 20 , 2010
Neelam Mathews

Because of pandemonium at Mumbai’s Chattrapathi Shivaji International Airport as a result of runway repair and maintenance, and infrastructure hassles delaying flights, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has issued an order for airlines to follow proper procedures to ease flight delays.

Airlines not adhering to the approved time slots can lose their priority in the next schedule.

The order, which was issued last October and now being implemented, says the operator must have the flight schedules approved by DGCA at least 30 days in advance.

Confusion was rampant on July 19 when air traffic control denied take-off clearance to more than 60 flights for late start-ups, putting into effect the DGCA order that empowers controllers to temporarily ground a flight if the pilot is not prepared for take off 15 minutes before the scheduled departure.

Starting July 21, Kingfisher Airlines says check-in counters for all domestic flights of Kingfisher Airlines departing from six cities — Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai — will now close 40 minutes before departure. This effectively means that check-in counters will close 10 minutes earlier than they used to.

This procedure is expected to be followed by all airlines.

“Boarding gates for our domestic flights departing from the six airports will close 15 minutes before departure. This change has been necessitated to minimize operational disruptions and guest inconvenience while ensuring compliance with the directions and procedures specified,” says Kingfisher spokesman Prakash Mirpuri.

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