New Delhi: Aviation watchdog DGCA on Monday asked airlines to publish accurate real-time information regarding flight delays and appropriately sensitise staff at airports to suitably communicate with passengers amid fog-related disruptions at airports.
Against the backdrop of a significant number of flights getting delayed and cancelled and passengers facing tough times, the regulator has come out with a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
Earlier in the day, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said all stakeholders are working round-the-clock to minimise fog-related disruptions in flight operations and that DGCA will come out with SOPs to ensure “better communication and facilitation of passengers to minimise discomfort in view of flight cancellations and delays due to adverse weather”.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday said that airlines should be required to publish accurate real-time information regarding delays in their flights.
There should also be appropriate sensitisation of the airline staff at the airports to suitably communicate with and continuously guide and inform the passengers about flight delays, according to a release.
This also comes amid an incident of a passenger assaulting an IndiGo pilot as he was making a flight delay announcement onboard an aircraft that was bound for Goa. The incident happened at the Delhi airport on Sunday.
“In view of the prevalent fog season and adverse weather conditions, airlines may cancel, sufficiently in advance, such flights that are anticipated to be delayed or consequentially delayed on account of such conditions beyond a period of 3 hours with a view to obviate congestion at the airport and mitigate passenger inconvenience,” DGCA said.
The SOPs have been issued in view of the “fog-induced disruptions and adverse weather conditions at various airports, including Delhi airport, causing delays, cancellations and inconvenience to passengers”, an official release said.
The regulator has Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR) pertaining to ‘facilities to be provided to passengers by airlines due to denied boarding, cancellation of flights and delays in flights’.
The airlines are also required to publish the reference of the CAR on the flight tickets, as per the release.
The CAR was issued to ensure appropriate protection for air travellers in case of flight disruptions and, in particular, denied boardings, flight cancellations and delays without due notice to the passengers booked on the flight(s).
“It is, accordingly, obligatory on the part of all airlines to mandatorily adhere to the provisions of the above CAR.
“However, in case of Force Majeure events i.e. extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the airline, the provisions of the above CAR are not applicable,” the release said.