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Business News/ News / India/  Fed up of being cooped up in a delayed flight for hours? There’s good news.
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Fed up of being cooped up in a delayed flight for hours? There’s good news.

After a spate of such complaints in December and January, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security has said that in cases of extraordinary flight delays, airlines will be allowed to deboard passengers and return them to the departure terminal.

Fog delayed more than 500 flights at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport in December and January, Premium
Fog delayed more than 500 flights at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport in December and January,

New Delhi: The next time you’re stuck in a delayed flight for hours, you may be allowed to deboard the aircraft and return to the airport’s departure terminal. 

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security has issued a directive to all stakeholders, including airlines, airports and other security agencies, under which airlines will be permitted – in cases of extraordinary flight delays – to deboard passengers from the aircraft and return them to the departure terminal.

Until now, if an airline had to deboard passengers because of a technical issue or emergency, all passengers would have to return to the arrivals area and repeat the entry process.

"If a flight was delayed by weather, someone on the aircraft falling ill or passing away, or a technical issue, then the passengers either had to stay put or return to the arrivals section. Now, they can return to the departure area. So passengers will face less harassment," Zulfiquar Hasan, security director general at the bureau, said on the sidelines of the 38th raising day of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Services.

He added that the new directive was now in force across all Indian airports. "Airport operators have to set up the infrastructure as the screening of passengers who deboarded the aircraft will take place in the departure area itself," he said.

"The concerned airline will give in writing to the security chief and BCAS (about deboarding passengers). Luggage won’t be contaminated in such cases so it can be transferred in case there is an aircraft change due to a technical issue," Hasan said.

He added that in case an airline does not initiate such a request, despite passengers sitting idle in the aircraft for a considerable period of time, security agencies on the ground can also take a call to deboard them.

During December and January, India’s civil aviation sector saw several complaints about passengers stuck in an idle aircraft for hours owing to adverse weather conditions. 

Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, India's largest, was hit the hardest, with fog delaying more than 500 flights during those months, but operations Chennai’s and Hyderabad’s airports were also affected.

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Published: 01 Apr 2024, 03:56 PM IST
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