With the domestic air passenger traffic growing by over 20 per cent and airlines facing slot crunch, aviation regulator DGCA has advised airlines to use realistic block time for operation of flights on various routes.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has come out with the new guidelines following a review of the earlier block hours for different routes and in consultations with all stake holders including airlines and airport operators, an official said today.
Block hours refer to the span of time from the switching on of the aircraft’s engines to their switching off.
An airline’s on-time performance as well as facilities and financial compensation to a flyer in case of delay are determined on the basis of block hours.
“Domestic air passenger traffic has grown, airports have become slot-constrained and one has to consider seasonal wind patterns while taking a view on the bloc timings for various routes,” the official said.
As per the fresh guidelines, the new block timing for a Mumbai-Delhi flight now stands at 2.10 hours as against 2.05 hours earlier. Similarly, the advisable block timings for Delhi-Kohi have been revised to 190 minutes as compared to 185 minutes earlier, the official said.
Likewise, for a Delhi-Patna flight the regulator has considered a new bloc time of 95 minutes. The block hours for flights from Delhi to Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru, however, remains unchanged, according to the official.
Traffic data of various airlines of the past five years (10 scheduling) had been collected and analysed before arriving at the new advisable block hours, the official said. The exercise has been carried out to ensure that all airlines use the same block hours for the same route.
The official, however, said by having standardised block timings, does not necessarily mean that a flight will be completed in that time-keeping in view of congestion on the ground.
A new study by industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and consultancy firm KPMG has forecast that India is all set to become the world’s third largest aviation market by 2020 after the US and China.