• DGCA panel to check airlines’ OTP claims after IndiGo complains of irregularities

    Your airline may not be sharing the correct on-time performance (OTP) figures, believes the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which has constituted a panel to look into the fudging of OTP data by airlines.

    “In view of some discrepancy observed in computation of OTP data, the DGCA has constituted a committee to look into the matter so as to ensure the correctness by end of February ,” DG of DGCA BS Bhullar told ET on Thursday.

    Bhullar said the OTP data, in the meantime, for December 2016 will be published as per practice. The committee will be headed by joint director general Lalit Gupta. The panel was formed after IndiGo complained to the DGCA that there are discrepancies in the way airline data is collated by airlines and airport operators. IndiGo had, in a letter to the DGCA, complained that the procedure to compute OTP data has irregularities and need to be corrected.

    IndiGo had pointed out irregularities in OTP calculation at airports and had sought a probe into the data collection at that airport and other places too.

    In its letter, IndiGo’s EVP (operations control) Sanjeev Ramdas had said that irregularities are a matter of grave concern for IndiGo.

    “OTP is a very important indicator of performance of any airline including In diGo. Any inaccurate data in public domain is bound to affect general perception and goodwill of any airline including IndiGo, which will hamper the level playing field in the aviation industry. It is a matter of grave concern for IndiGo that there is more variance in favour of competing airlines,” Ramdas had said in his missive.

    A source alleged that irregularities in collating data happen, while it is compiled manually adding that the error percentage in reportage of data by airlines could be as high as 14%.

    “The arrival time of an aircraft is registered when it gets attached to an aerobridge and then that time is sent by a computer to airport operators. Irregularity in data happens when this data is transferred manually to an excel sheet.Same is the case with takeoffs. A lot of new-age aircraft (like A320 Neo) are equipped with a system that automatically sends the information to air traffic control and the airline and airport official.But carriers, which operate oldgeneration aircraft, report the takeoff time verbally , where they could report wrong data,” said an airline executive.

    Another airline executive said one airline suddenly does not trust the data, which had kept it number one all these years.

    “Any airline, which does not have new-age aircraft and reports data manually, can only gain one to two minutes by fudging the data, in case it is doing it,” said another executive. Kevan Miller Jersey

    Share This