• Airlines’ on-time performance data on DGCA radar

    The Directorate General of Civil Aviation will direct Indian carriers to install the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) on all their planes to ensure that the on-time performance (OTP) they report is authentic.

    The step is being recommended by a committee headed by joint director-general Lalit Gupta that was formed to look into a complaint by IndiGo about discrepancies in timings reported by rivals at Mumbai airport. The report will be made public in a week, said a senior DGCA official, who did not want to be identified.

    “ACARS will ensure there is minimum manual intervention in reporting of landings and takeoffs at airports,” he said.

    IndiGo had questioned OTP monitoring at Mumbai airport in December last year and filed a complaint with DGCA after a decline in ranking from the top spots that it traditionally occupied.

    In November, IndiGo was at number four after SpiceJet, Jet and Vistara, with only GoAir and Air India ranked below it. Its ranking has since improved and the airline’s OTP out of Mumbai airport was second best at 78.8% in April,trailing only Vistara that clocked 81.7% with a much smaller fleet.

    After the complaint by IndiGo, Mumbai airport fired two employees for feeding incorrect data into the system. The official cited above said the panel found that manual intervention was responsible for the discrepancies.

    ACARS is used globally to record the exact landing and takeoff timings and is said to be tamper-proof.

    In India, IndiGo is the only airline that has ACARS on all its planes.

    The rest have it on their newer aircraft, experts said. “It is commonly used by airlines globally and the government should also ensure that airports in the country have infrastructure to support ACARS,” said Shakti Lumba, an aviation analyst who has been head of operations at various airlines.

    Spice-Jet did not comment. IndiGo welcomed the move. The other carriers didn’t respond to queries. “We welcome any step that would lead to a common system of OTP reporting by all airlines so that customers have access to accurate on-time data that is not prone to manipulation and human errors,” said IndiGo spokesmanAjay Jasra.  Brandon Scherff Womens Jersey

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