The move will reduce fuel consumption and flight duration
Sweta Ranjan | June 12, 2015 | New Delhi
Some good news may come soon for air travellers. Ministry of civil aviation and the ministry of defence are looking for ways to provide more airspace to the commercial airlines. As per the plans, the commercial airlines of India may soon be given more military airspace. Sources from civil aviation ministry say, “The ministries have already started testing out the plans. Private airlines like IndiGo, Jet Airways and SpiceJet have already tried a test run”.
According to current norms, commercial airlines of India are restricted to use only 60 per cent of India’s airspace. If these airlines are provided with more airspace there would be lesser consumption of fuel. This in turn will benefit air travellers as airlines would be allowed to take direct and shorter routes. This move will also reduce the flight duration.
A source from IndiGo reveals, “If this move turns positive, not only airlines but the passengers too will be benefited. There will be a fuel cost savings of around 15 per cent on each flight.”
On June 6, SpiceJet operated its flight using military airspace over Hindon and Sarsawa air force stations. This flexibility is being praised by all major airlines of the country. A senior official from IndiGo calls it a very positive move from the aviation perspective. The airlines of India were trained for three days, from June 3-6.
A senior pilot working with a leading airline shares, “This will save a lot of time and money. At present, to fly to Dubai we fly over Pakistan, then Bahrain but if this flexibility is provided we can directly fly over Muscat and then land in Dubai.”
Currently commercial airlines in India are allowed to fly over 26 military bases but flying over many military airports are still restricted to commercial aircrafts. The implementation of this decision will be done phase-wise. In the first phase some airspace will be provided to the commercial airlines. The second phase will happen only if some airlines apply to operate and use in certain military airspace. The permission will be granted only to those who apply and meet the eligibility. The third phase will happen if a need is felt to increase the airspace for civil flights.
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