Habitually late flight may lose slot forever
MUMBAI: Taking the stick-to-slot policy a step further, the ministry of civil aviation is threatening to cancel slots for flights which are repeatedly missing their scheduled time.
At a three-day meeting, which started on Tuesday in Delhi, civil aviation joint secretary Alok Sinha will be meeting senior officials from major airports across the country to formulate and implement this rule. The officials will also discuss the winter schedule for flights, which needs to be drastically re-planned so as to ensure better results out of stick-to-slot policy for departing as well as arriving flights.
“We will be discussing ways to ensure that most flights are on time. Also, if a particular flight is repeatedly missing its slot, it may be asked to give up that slot. We are planning to implement this rule after a thorough discussion with Mumbai and Delhi airport officials,” Sinha told TOI. “If a flight is repeatedly missing its slot it will lose the right for that particular slot,” he added.
Officials said that apart from the new measure for errant flights, the meeting will also focus on planning the winter schedule, which need to fall in line with the Air Transport Circular, 10 of 2009. This would also improve on-time performance percentage for flights out of big airports like Mumbai and Delhi.
“Currently, during peak hours, many flights are scheduled to take-off or arrive at the same time. This is not practically possible. Also, the circular clearly states that there should be only five flights in a span of 10 minutes. This clause in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) circular is flouted by the DGCA itself as at times there are 10 flights scheduled in a span of 10 minutes,” a senior airport official said. “Hence, there is a constant cluster even when the ATC or airlines try their best to keep to time.”