• The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will carry out a month-long trial across airports.
• It has to devise a strategy for enhancing aircraft handling capacity by ensuring punctuality of flights.
• The standard operating procedure to be adopted includes a series of steps to ensure that there are no early arrivals at the three capacity-constrained airports of Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru.
What is a block time?
• A block time is defined as “the total time taken from the moment an aircraft first moves for the purpose of taking off until the moment it finally comes to rest at the end of the flight,” according to the Director General of Civil Aviation.
• This is also used to measure the on-time performance (OTP) or punctuality of flights. Some airlines are known to show longer block times than the actual duration of flight so that they can claim a better OTP.
• The AAI decided to undertake this exercise after it monitored air traffic at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and realised that 26% of flights were early arrivals, i.e., they landed more than 15 minutes before their scheduled time of arrival.
• Early arrival of flights to an airport result in aircraft actually scheduled to land during the given time slot getting delayed,
• To which it leads to a cascading effect on flight operations.
Mains Paper 1: Governance
Prelims level: AAI
Mains level: What are the steps taken by AAI to devise strategy for flight punctuality?