Flights running late to face indefinite take off delays
Flights that don't initiate push-back from an airport gate and taxi on a runway within five minutes of air traffic control (ATC) clearance, would now only be allowed to take off once a slot is free. The flights risk getting delayed indefinitely. The new instructions by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) are aimed at making airlines more punctual.
The DGCA has ordered ATC to decide the sequence of flight departures based on "position and readiness" of aircraft approaching the runway's entry point. "Aircraft shall complete all pre-departure checks and cabin procedures prior to entering the runway and start rolling as soon take-off clearance is issued by ATC," the DGCA order says.
Officials say the order should be a wake-up for airlines having poor on-time performance because of whom punctual ones end up suffering. The DGCA hopes the new rules will particularly help ease air traffic congestion at choked airports such as Delhi and Mumbai.