New rules to make IGI airport safer

Updated on Oct 27, 2007 02:03 AM IST

Concerned with the rising number of air accidents, civil aviation ministry has introduced measures for IGI airport's safety, reports Sidhartha Roy.

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Hindustan Times | BySidhartha Roy, New Delhi

The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Friday introduced a slew of measures, including a ban on foot movement and two-wheelers, to make the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) a safer place.

“The government is concerned with the rising number of accidents at the airside of IGIA. The problem is like the Blueline chaos on the roads of the capital,” said K.N. Srivastava, joint secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation.

From now on, cabin crews of all airlines, including the pilots, will have to travel to the aircraft in a single vehicle. Ground-handling staff, who need to reach early, will travel on passenger coaches. The ministry expected to bring down the total number of vehicles in the airport to 500, from the present 800. It also said that all vehicles should have speed governors by November 15.

A team of airport officials, headed by a Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) officer will monitor the enforcement of these rules. Srivastava said all violators will be punished and may even lose their right to enter the airport.

Airlines, however, said the new measures are not practical and may slow down vehicular movement and even delay flights. “Most aircraft are kept near the parking bay and are within walking distance. Now we’ll have to provide vehicles to all ground-handling staff and engineers, unnecessarily,” said a senior official of a budget carrier. “It is also difficult to coordinate the arrival time of the pilot and other cabin crew. Pilots usually come later than the rest,” he added.

So far this year, there have been 49 accidents at IGIA. In four of these cases, vehicles had collided with aircraft; in 12 cases ground-handling vehicles had collided with planes and in 33 cases they hit each other. On Tuesday, the body of an engineer with Air Deccan was found on a taxiway.

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