Flights not ready to take off on time may get delayed indefinitely

DELHI: Airlines not preparing their aircraft to take off on time now risk getting such flights delayed indefinitely.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation has told airports that if a flight crew does not initiate push back to begin taxiing to the runway within five minutes of air traffic control allowing them to do so, such a flight should be allowed to take off only when some slot is free, reports The Times of India.

The idea is to push airlines to be more punctual by doing whatever is in their control. Issues like air traffic congestion, which cause most delays in choked airports like Delhi and Mumbai, are beyond the control of airlines and a result of crippling airport infra shortage.

“Aircraft shall contact … for push back and start up at least 15 minutes prior to schedule time of departure. Approval for push back and start up shall be valid for five minutes only. Aircraft not adhering to pushback clearance will go back in the sequence. Subsequent clearance will be given based on available slot,” an order issued by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief BS Bhullar on Wednesday said.

Air Traffic Control (ATC) has been asked to decide sequence of departures on the basis of the “position and readiness” of aircraft approaching the entry point of the runway. “Aircraft shall complete all pre-departure checks and cabin procedures prior to entering the runway and start rolling as soon take-off clearance is issued by ATC,” Bhullar’s order says.


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