DGCA issues SOPs for airlines amid flight delays, cancellations due to fog | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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DGCA issues SOPs for airlines amid flight delays, cancellations due to fog: ‘Share real-time updates’

Jan 15, 2024 09:07 PM IST

The DGCA emphasized that information about the flights must be made available on the airline's website and that passengers should be notified about it.

Amid criticism over flight delays and cancellations at the Delhi airport due to the existing fog conditions, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued standard operating procedures for airlines on Monday.

An Air India aircraft among others parked on the tarmac at Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi.(HT File)
An Air India aircraft among others parked on the tarmac at Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi.(HT File)

The directive instructs airlines to provide precise real-time updates on flight delays caused by fog. The aviation regulator emphasised that this information must be made available on the airline's website and also shared with passengers through SMS, WhatsApp, and email.

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Additionally, the DGCA stressed on the importance of conducting effective training for airline staff at airports, ensuring they can communicate appropriately and inform passengers about any ongoing flight delays.

"In view of the prevalent fog season and adverse weather conditions, airlines may cancel, sufficiently in advance, such flights that are anticipated to be delayed or consequentially delayed on account of such conditions beyond a period of 3 hours with a view to obviate congestion at the airport and mitigate passenger inconvenience," the DGCA said in its statement.

The DGCA stated that it implemented the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) to guarantee adequate safeguards for air travelers in the event of flight disruptions. This includes instances such as denied boardings, flight cancellations, and delays occurring without proper notice to passengers. "The airlines are also required to publish the reference of the CAR on the flight tickets," the regulator said.

The issuance of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) comes at a time when numerous passengers took to social media to highlight significant flight delays.

Civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia assured that steps are being taken to ‘mitigate’ the situation in the near future', adding that all the stakeholders are working round the clock to minimise the fog-related impact.

“Yesterday, Delhi witnessed unprecedented fog wherein visibility fluctuated for several hours, and at times, dropped to zero between 5 AM to 9 AM. The authorities, therefore, were compelled to enforce a shut-down of operations for some time even on CAT III runways (CAT III runways cannot handle Zero-Visibility operations)," the minister said in an X post.

"The decision was taken keeping passenger safety in mind, which remains the foremost priority for all in the aviation ecosystem,” Scindia added.

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