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Rs 30 lakhs parking charges for United Airways at Raipur airport

At 7 pm on August 17, 2015 officials at Raipur's Swami Vivekananda airport was told that a United Airways flight was flying over the city and that it needed clearance for an emergency landing as one of its engine has failed.

By: | New Delhi | Published: September 16, 2016 7:54 AM
Already suffering from space crunch officials at Raipur airport gave clearance for the Muscat-based United Airways flight with 173 passengers on board to make an emergency landing.  (Reuters Image) Already suffering from space crunch officials at Raipur airport gave clearance for the Muscat-based United Airways flight with 173 passengers on board to make an emergency landing. (Reuters Image)

Sounds interesting that it takes more than a year for an international airlines to move out it’s own aircraft which landed in an emergency.

Yes, at 7 pm on August 17, 2015 officials at Raipur’s Swami Vivekananda airport was told that a United Airways flight was flying over the city and that it needed clearance for an emergency landing as one of its engine has failed.

Already suffering from space crunch officials at Raipur airport gave clearance for the Muscat-based United Airways flight with 173 passengers on board to make an emergency landing.

Quite amazingly a year has passed since the emergency landing took place the McDonnell Douglas DC 63 still occupies one of the six parking bays at Chhattisgarh’s only functioning airport — an anomaly at a facility with no international service.

Though several letters have been written by officials from the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to their counterparts in Bangladesh and the private carrier to expedite the process of vacating the parking space, no such actionable response have been received by the Indian authorities.

In April 2016, civil authorities from Bangladesh arrived at Raipur and fitted a new engine replacing the old one.  “The DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) accorded approval, they fitted their engine successfully, and a ground test was carried out. But the flight could not take off because it still did not have a Certificate of Airworthiness, which is a mandatory requirement,” said Santosh Dhoke, airport director.

Response from the United Airways said that they were unable to renew the CFA, which meant that the flight was incapable of being flown out but they were hopeful of a resolution in two or three months.

As per officials account, United Airways will have to pay “parking charges” upwards of around Rs 30 lakh and counting. “This is normal international procedure with very clear norms. The charge is fixed according to the weight and the wingspan of the aircraft. In this case, it works out to around between Rs 8,500 and Rs 9,000 a day. No clearance to take off will be given without this amount being paid,” Dhoke said.

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