Diwali bonus for fliers: DGCA approves 11 extra flights for Mumbai
Will take off from and land in Mumbai between 11pm and 3am from mid-October to mid-Marchmumbai Updated: Oct 05, 2017 00:59 IST
In keeping with the demand during festivals and to boost tourism, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has permitted 11 additional domestic and international flights in the northern winter schedule.
Starting mid-October these additional flights will take off from and land in Mumbai between 11pm and 3am till mid-March, said an official from the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL).
“Usually, people who fly within the country do not prefer flights during the nights and hence air traffic is less as compared to day operations when the slots are packed. Approvals have therefore been given keeping in mind the traffic flow,” said an official from the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
Airlines apply for permission to operate additional slots to MIAL which is then forwarded to the Air Traffic Control (ATC) to check for availability of the slot. Approval is granted if slots and parking bays are both available following which the DGCA takes the final call on assigning the additional flights to airlines based on their On Time Performance (OTP). Every month, the DGCA reviews punctuality during take-off and landing at airports - termed as OTP - that helps the aviation regulator to keep a tab on the airlines’ data for performance.
A DGCA official said, “Prior to taking the final decision, the DGCA holds a meeting in Delhi for airport operators and airlines where the overall performances of the airlines is reviewed based on their OTP in the previous year. Additional flights are allotted to airlines who maintain their OTP to a minimum of 70%, and requests by airlines with poor performance are turned down.”
Sources from Delhi-based DGCA said there are plans to also allot two slots for flights under Regional Connectivity Scheme, which is a government initiative to make air travel affordable, and to connect to regional places.