• PMO steps into Delhi airport’s dispute with small aircraft operators

    The Prime Minister’s Office has intervened in a dispute over the Delhi airport putting curbs on small aircraft operators carrying out maintenance of their own aircraft.

    The PMO forwarded to the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) a letter written to it by a general aviation operator, which said DIAL’s decision would lead to a spike in cost for general aviation operators.

    Business jet operators at the Delhi airport were told that they would not be allowed to maintain their aircraft or do self-handling and their vehicle passes were not renewed for air side movement.

    When contacted, DIAL in an email response, said it has replied to the PMO’s letter. It said the rule to limit ground handling and maintenance of business jets at the Delhi airport to two companies is to maintain quality standards.

    “It was suggested by a global consultant to have two concessionaires with international presence at Delhi airport in order to provide competitive environment with respect to provision of quality services. Such a structure is prevalent at other international airports also. General aviation community had also opined earlier for similar structure to be implemented in Indian airports,” it said.

    Earlier, it said, there were multiple agencies working for general aviation and they had deployed more than 100 vehicles, making the sector fragmented and disorganised.

    Business jet operators also alleged that the treatment being meted out to the small aircraft segment at the Delhi airport contradicts the principles of the Regional Connectivity Scheme under the new Civil Aviation Policy, which aims to ensure economic growth and connectivity in small cities and towns through operations of small aircraft.

    DIAL, in its response, denied this claim, saying that non-scheduled operators were not allowed to operate under the regional connectivity scheme. Josh Ferguson Womens Jersey

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