Aviation secretary R N Choubey has asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to see how the old airports in the two metros can be used for diversions. The regulator will form a panel to examine all aspects of this move. The government’s agreement with GMR-led Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) at Hyderabad and Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) says old airports in the heart of these two cities are not supposed to get any commercial flights after the new ones opened.
“The aviation ministry feels diversions are not schedule commercial operations. If an incoming plane is unable to land at RGIA or BIAL due to any technical reason like runways there not being available after another plane getting stuck on them, why should they have to go all the way to relatively distant Chennai or Nagpur when the old airports are so close by? This is a waste of fuel, time, resource everything,” said a highly paced source.
The ministry will talk to the promoters of the new airports in Hyderabad and Bangalore. And if they agree, there will be other issues to focus which could quickly be resolved. HAL is a defence airport which used to have a terminal operated by Airports Authority of India while Hyderabad’s Begumpet was entirely of AAI.
“These old airports will require the complete infrastructure of an operational airports like security, ATC personnel and even immigration to be able to handle diversions. If a plane headed to these cities diverts to the old airports there, then passengers should be able to leave for the city from there only. The aviation ministry and DGCA panel will identify all such issues and find ways of sorting them out,” said a source. Airlines may be asked to partially bear the cost of making the old airports operational.
The main hurdle will be getting a nod from BIAL and RGIA promoters and board to use the old airports. Aviation secretary Choubey recently said that the ministry will talk to GMR-led Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd (DIAL) to have commercial regional flights from the Hindon defence airbase in Ghaziabad, UP. A similar pact with DIAL prohibits commercial aircraft movement from any airport within a 150-km radius of Delhi’s IGI Airport.
While Delhi Airport is choked at the moment with no additional slots, getting their clearance for Hindon may not be tough. “It is a sheer waste of precious national resources to have big airports in the heart of Bangalore and Hyderabad and not use them for even diversions. We hope the private airport operators see sense and agree to the plan,” said an official.
Source : timesofindia