Passengers will no longer have to wait for hours in the flight while it hovers above the airport, in a queue for landing clearance during peak hours.
The new rule states that airports must not allow flights, which already had a delayed take-off to land between 9.30 pm and 11 pm, which are Mumbai’s peak arrival hours. This new rule will come into effect from September 8.
This rule comes on the heels of another initiative by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), that successfully corrected delays in departure by enforcing every flight to be ready for take-off at least 15 minutes prior to its scheduled departure time.
This rule was introduced on July 19.
“The Mumbai Air Traffic Control will issue a notice to airmen on August 31 on the departure issue,” said Alok Sinha, joint secretary, civil aviation ministry. “It will end departure delays at other airports and improve the punctuality of arrivals to Mumbai,” said M.G. Jhunghare, general manager, Air Traffic Control (ATC).
There are about 35 scheduled arrivals at Mumbai airport from 9.30 pm to 11 pm.
Often, flights scheduled to land before this time period, take off late from the airport and thereby add to the congestion in the aerospace during this period.
If delayed city-bound flights are not stopped at the airport of origin, the city ATC can rightfully refuse them landing clearances and divert them.
For instance, a flight from Delhi to Mumbai scheduled to take-off at 7:30 pm is expected to reach Mumbai at around 9:30 pm. As per the new rule, if this flight fails to take-off on time, the ATC at Delhi airport should only allow it to depart when it cannot arrive in Mumbai during the peak arrival hours.
This means the flight should not be allowed to take off before 9.30 pm, so that it does not reach Mumbai till 11 pm.
Already nine out of 10 departures out of Mumbai are on time since the regulator began penalising airlines for delays. Before the rule had come into effect on July 19, more than half the departures between 5.30 am and 9 am, the morning peak hour, were delayed.