As airports stretched for capacity, more nights flights likely

DELHI: India may be the world’s fastest growing aviation market but its crippling airport infrastructure crunch is now threatening this growth story.

The Times of India has accessed the minutes of the meeting held between airlines and aviation authorities to finalise the winter flight schedule.

Only three airports – Chennai, Bengaluru and Trivandrum – can handle four more flights an hour this winter while all other big airports remain choked in terms of runway capacity.

Aviation authorities approved 18,860 weekly domestic flights from 90 airports in winter 2017-18 – up 9.8% from the 17,170 from 77 airports cleared for this summer.

The increase in approved flights- which is always more than flights actually operated – is mainly due to clearing regional flights from hitherto unused small airports.

However, the crunch at big airports is leading to alarm bells ringing with airport operators now threatening to act tough on airlines that do not actually operate the precious slots given to them by taking them away and giving them to some one else who will operate a flight at that time.


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