Editorial: Enhance all-weather capabilities at airports

Editorial: Enhance all-weather capabilities at airports

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Tuesday, January 16, 2024, 07:17 PM IST
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Representational Image | File

Under no circumstances could the behaviour of an IndiGo airline passenger, who hit the pilot, be condoned. The authorities concerned have taken appropriate action. He may even be banned from flying for a few years, forgetting the imprisonment that awaits him under various sections of the IPC. Come to think of it, he was on his honeymoon destination, Goa, when he lost control and vented his anger against the pilot. The plane was supposed to take off on January 14 at 6am, for which the passengers had reported to the airport at least two hours earlier. They were told to wait for one hour, which became two hours, three hours, and eventually 12 hours. As they had boarded the aircraft, some of them might have even felt claustrophobic. When they needed sympathy, the pilot allegedly blamed their questioning nature for accentuating the delay. It was at that point that Sahil Kataria made the foolish step.

Reports suggest that on January 14, more than a hundred outbound and inbound flights to the national capital were affected by the dense fog. The delays have, in their wake, disrupted flights in many other airports across the country. In fact, air transport has been going haywire for the last few days because of the foggy conditions in many North Indian states. Yet, little has been done to mitigate the hardship of the passengers. It is not that technology is not available to overcome the seasonal problem. On Monday, the Union minister for civil aviation announced that another runway in Delhi has been converted into an all-weather facility, meaning it can receive and send-off planes even in very low visibility conditions. The Director-General of Civil Aviation has, for good measure, announced a new operating system for airlines. This will guide airlines on making the right decisions when they cannot adhere to their schedules because of weather conditions.

Rather than waiting for untoward incidents, the authorities concerned should have taken proactive decisions in anticipation of the seasonal hiccups. India has aspirations to become the third-largest economy in the near future, when air transport will play a pivotal role. It has to modernise the navigation systems at airports, whatever the cost. True, the country has a large number of airports that compare favourably with the best airports all over the world. The standards of the navigation systems should be commensurate with the standards of the airports.

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