UDAN Scheme: Shortage Of Facilities & Manpower For Private Jet Flights
Although a few smaller airports are set to open next year under the UDAN regional connectivity scheme, the shortage of facilities and manpower is likely to curtail private jet flights in and out of these tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
Airports Authority of India (AAI) is working to open airports at Thanjavur, Salem, Vellore, Neyveli, Hosur and Puducherry to boost regional connectivity. But the move may not help unscheduled services like corporate flights, charter tourist flights, and air ambulance flights to small towns because of non-availability of air traffic controllers, security personnel and other staff round the clock. The absence of night landing facilities too may hamper operations.
Authorities say these airports are likely to handle only two scheduled flights a day. Business jets and air ambulances may require prior permission to fly to small towns as AAI may have to arrange for personnel at the airport to handle the aircraft.
The priority now is to ensure that commercial airliners will be able to fly to tier 2 and tier 3 cities. There are limitations in providing air traffic control services and other staff at underserved airports for which AAI is looking at different options including remote ATC towers.
But rules will be eased to help corporate and charter flights, said a senior AAI official. CEO and cofounder of JetSetGo, a company which operates business jets, said, they are having to request private jet passengers to adjust their travel time to match the airport operating time which is ridiculous given that they choose to travel by private jets in order to land and take off whenever they feel like.
However, the move to open the small airports was a welcome move, she added. She don’t think the government is at fault for what they are facing right now. There’s an acute shortage of trained manpower to handle the ATC as well as various infrastructural hurdles.
Source Link- https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/