With its regular aerobridge operators on strike and operations being handled by backup staff, there was a malfunction in aerobridge operation at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA).
On April 18, when an Air India flight was ready to depart, two aerobridges came extremely close to each other, sources said.
The incident took place at bay 21. Sources said it could have resulted in a tragedy but the staff managed to control the aerobridge in the nick of time.
Airlines have also complained about the mismanagement at aerobridge. “This happened due to a sensor fault. But there has been no damage to the bridge," a DIAL spokesperson said.
Around 200 contracted workers of the company, which handles aerobridge operations, went on strike on April 12, causing chaos at the Delhi airport. DIAL however claims that operations are currently normal as the company has put its own technicians to man T3’s 78 aerobridges.
When asked about the status of the strike, a DIAL spokesperson said it was a matter between their employer ICS and its employees.
Sources said the backup staff is not properly trained. “Soon after the workers went on strike, we have been getting many complaints about aerobridge malfunctions,” an airline official said.
DIAL however denied the allegation. “Adequately trained and tested operators are working currently and ensuring smooth operation,” he said.
Sources said the tussle between aerobridge staff and DIAL began in February when two staff members were caught eating food near aerobridge.
Aerobridge operators have been protesting about long working hours and low wages for some time, they added. DIAL officials said the day the strike began, the workers had removed control fuses and vital wires, cross-connected wires and broken control cabinet locks.