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‘War rooms’, sufficient CISF manpower & more: Govt’s 6-point new plan amid flight chaos

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said ‘war rooms’ will be set up at the six metro airports to address any issues with regard to passenger inconvenience with immediacy. He added that sufficient CISF manpower availability will also be ensured at these airports round-the-clock.

War rooms sufficient CISF manpower and more government 6 point new plan amid flight chaos gcw
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First Published Jan 16, 2024, 6:50 PM IST

The Centre on Tuesday announced a new action plan as heavy fog disrupted fight operations across north India, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded at airports for hours. Airports and airline operators will establish "war rooms" at each of the six metro airports as part of the strategy in order to promptly handle any concerns pertaining to passenger discomfort.

The Civil Aviation Minister also sought incidence reporting thrice daily for all the six metro airports — Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Chennai. Jyotiraditya Scindia, the minister of civil aviation, stated in a post on X, previously Twitter, that the DGCA's aviation watchdog's instructions, SOPs, and CARs will be constantly reviewed and reported on.

The minister also informed that sufficient CISF manpower availability will be ensured round-the-clock. This came after a passenger assaulted an IndiGo pilot on Sunday after his flight was delayed by 12 hours.

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The Delhi airport's Runway 29L has been designated as CAT III operational, meaning it can handle takeoffs and departures even in low visibility conditions, according to Scindia, who announced the new regulations. Additionally designated as CAT III, Runway 10/28 would be operational as soon as the re-carpeting was finished, he continued.

The passengers observed considerable criticism during protracted flight operations delays, which prompted the issuance of the new regulations. Dense fog on Sunday severely disrupted operations at the Delhi Airport, causing several planes to be diverted, cancelled, or delayed.

Tensions escalated on Sunday when a high-voltage drama erupted from the Delhi Airport, which included passengers having to sit inside planes lined up on runways for hours. In fact, a video of an IndiGo passenger who attacked the pilot of a flight headed for Goa went viral on social media on Sunday. After then, the passenger was placed under arrest due to his "unruly behaviour."

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The fog and unfavourable weather conditions have resulted in several airport cancellations and delays, including Delhi's IGI Airport. As a result, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DCGA) has released a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the airlines. The SOPs were published in the public interest and the airlines would be required to follow them with immediate effect.

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