Tug-of-war over ground handling at airport reaches HC again

  • Surender Sharma, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Oct 18, 2015 11:44 IST

Days before the new terminal at the international airport in SAS Nagar becomes functional, the tug-of-war over ground handling services between airlines and the airport operator has reached the Punjab and Haryana high court again.

Acting on the petition of The Federation of Indian Airlines, the high court had directed the Chandigarh International Airport Limited (CHIAL) to allow entry passes to those personnel who were handling such services for airlines till the day of judgment on September 24 on the same matter.

The high court’s order came on an application moved by the airlines alleging that CHIAL was not complying with the order passed by the high court on September 24.

The new terminal was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 11, the operations from it will start on Monday.

The airlines have submitted that the airport operator be directed to renew the existing aerodrome entry passes (AEPs) of the ground handling personnel undertaking such services for airlines and also directions be issued to allot necessary space at the new terminal for all the airlines. The airlines submitted that if the airport operator refuses to renew AEPs, it could result in hardships to passengers.

The court was also told to bring clarity whether or not airlines could engage any such agency permitted in writing by the Airport Authority of India (AAI).

It was on September 24 that the high court had allowed airlines to carry out ground handling itself or by Airport Authority of India. The HC had termed the contract given to an Air India subsidiary by the operator an “illegal” move.

The airline federation comprises IndiGo, Jet Airways, JetLite, SpiceJet and Go Air.

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