NEW DELHI: Ahead of Bihar polls, DGCA has directed all chartered flight operators to strictly follow norms and ensure that normal airline operations are not hit at Patna airport, which has less landing and parking capacity.
During election time, the number of politicians and related people, including VIPs and VVIPs, opting for chartered flights is usually high.
Assembly elections in Bihar would be held in five phases between October 12 and November 5.
In a meeting with Non-Scheduled Operator Permit (NSOP) holders, the regulator asked them to ensure that all regulations, including those related to carrying VIPs, are strictly followed while flying to Bihar, sources said.
The latest directions have been given considering that Bihar’s only operational airport at Patna has constraints and limited capacity, they added.
“We have asked NSOP holders to ensure that movement of their planes are very well coordinated and does not infringe upon normal flight operations at Patna airport,” sources said.
Besides, they have been asked to make sure that landing of helicopters are not be too close to the venue.
According to them, such operators have also been told to report about any emergency landings in case of bad weather to the DGCA and no punitive action would be initiated against them in such instances.
The Patna airport sees about 26 movements in a day. Landing and takeoff of flights is considered as two separate movements and on that basis, 26 movements would translate to 13 flights per day.
Besides, chartered flight operators have been specifically directed to strictly follow guidelines while carrying VIPs and VVIPs. As per norms, such people should travel only in a two-engine plane and there need to be two pilots in the flight.
Recently, DGCA has come across violations by some NSOPs.