Delhi airport slot woes to hit Air Odisha, Air Deccan plans
Air Odisha and Air Deccan's plans to start flights from the national capital are facing rough weather as Delhi airport operator DIAL is unwilling to offer requisite slots for landing and take off, industry sources said.
The two new operators -- which won bids to operate flights under the government's ambitious regional connectivity scheme -- have sought permission for at least 16 movements of their planes from the Delhi airport.
A take off or landing is considered as one movement.
According to sources, DIAL is willing to give only two slots -- one early morning arrival and one late evening departure -- each to Air Deccan and Air Odisha, in the forthcoming winter schedule.
DIAL (Delhi International Airport Ltd) is the joint venture company that operates the country's busiest aerodrome.
With the airport operator willing to provide only two slots whereas the airlines' requirement is for 16 slots each, their proposed flight services from the national capital would be impacted, sources said.
"DIAL has expressed its inability to provide required slots to both Air Deccan and Air Odisha, citing their shortage. They have offered two movements per day to each carrier, which will put their proposed winter schedule into a tailspin," one of the sources said.
Winter schedule is from the last Sunday of October to last Sunday of March.
DIAL made its position clear at a meeting of the slot allocation committee of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) here, which was convened at the direction of the civil aviation ministry, they added.
Queries sent to DIAL did not yield any response, while Air Deccan and Air Odisha officials were not available for comments.
"Strangely, DIAL has also offered slots between midnight to early morning notwithstanding the fact that UDAN is the government's scheme that aims to connect undeveloped areas with metros and major cities in the country," another source said.
Five airlines were awarded 128 routes in March this year during the first round of bidding under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), also known as Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN).
The winners of the routes in the first round, including Air Odisha and Air Deccan, were given six months time to start operations and that deadline expired on September 30. Of the 128 routes, only 15 have been operationalised so far.
Air Odisha and Air Deccan (34 routes) had bagged the maximum number of 50 and 34 routes, respectively, under UDAN.
The two operators have already informed the ministry that between them they have six 19-seater Beachcraft B-1900D aircraft to begin operations.
Last month, an Air Odisha official said some of the RCS airports, which it plans to fly to, were not ready causing the delay in operations apart from the slots issue.
At present, the airport sees an average of 1,200 flight movements everyday.
To handle rising traffic, DIAL plans to expand the passenger handling capacity of two operational terminals, recommission operations at terminal-2 and build a new runway by 2021.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
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