In a move to reduce peak hour congestion in some of the busy airports such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, the airlines and airport authorities have been asked to reduce the number of flights or reschedule them to deal with the holiday season rush and avoid the serpentine queues at the airports.
Civil aviation ministry officials said they are discussing with domestic airlines ways to address overall congestion at the Delhi airport, including the possibility of reducing the number of flights operated during peak hours.
Speaking at an event in Indore, civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said certain airports were witnessing congestion and that the bunching of flights at airports during peak hours will be smoothed out.
“For example, at the Delhi Airport, instead of 22 flights, 19 flights are in the queue and we should make more efforts to reduce it so that passengers do not face inconvenience,” said Scindia.
He also suggested that airports increase the number of security officials and trolly capacity at entry points. Aviation analysts said the sector is like a cobweb as delays have implications for the network and have a cascading effect on flights.
Earlier in the month, DigiYatra, a facial recognition technology which enables paperless entry into airports, was rolled out at Delhi, Bangalore and Varanasi airports.
“(We) need to encourage the use of it (DigiYatra) for seamless and contactless travel through the airport. The more people use DigiYatra, the congestion at airports will come down,” the minister said.
As air passenger traffic rebounds and is inching closer to pre-covid levels of 400,000 to 450,000 per day, major Indian airports are facing congestion.
On Friday, daily air passenger traffic was 412,526. Scindia also held a detailed discussion earlier this week with heads of all major Indian airports, CISF and immigration officials on capacities deployed.
The discussion was also on the capacities required at every point to process domestic and international passengers smoothly through the peak travel season.
During the meeting, various initiatives, including plans for peak hour capacity based on passenger processing capacity at each airport, were also discussed Senior ministry officials visited the Terminal 3 (T3) on Saturday to inspect passenger movement and baggage checkpoints, the officials said.