Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) believes airlines are to be majorly blamed for passenger hardships due to fog-induced flight delays and cancellations.
The aviation regulator has found that almost all delays and cancellations have happened either due to the aircraft being non-CAT III compliant or pilots not being trained to handle compliant aircraft.
DGCA joint chief Lalit Gupta has been warning the airlines to pull up their socks. On Thursday, TOI had reported the pulling up of two airlines. Top officials of those airlines said similar warnings have gone to almost every Indian carrier.
On November 30, Gupta had emailed all airlines and named Air India, Jet Airways, Indigo, SpiceJet, Jetlite, Go Air and Emirates for their poor preparedness.
But subsequent flight diversions even when visibility was way above the instrument landing system (ILS) or CAT III minimum range showed that the warning wasn’t heeded.
DGCA now has a new chief in senior IAS officer B S Bhullar, and it remains to be seen what action he takes.
“Every year we see the same thing. Airlines or airports are not prepared to handle flights during fog. Aviation authorities issue the usual warnings, and by the time this drill is over, March sets in and fog goes away. Passengers are fed that airlines or airports have been warned but nothing changes. It’s the same story every year,” said a senior official of an airline. Jeff Heuerman Womens JerseyShare This