Thursday, May 29, 2008


l To turn HAL Airport into key defence establishment l Make it a major hub to train pilots l To use its base to operate copter services Chaos at BIA annoys passengers
Bangalore: Passenger frustration at the new airport continues with constant flight delays and other airport-related issues.
A JetLite flight S2 234 to New Delhi, which was supposed to depart from Bangalore at 12.55 pm, only took off at five minutes past 4 pm.
According to Shalini, a passenger on the flight, “We waited for two hours at the terminal building first and then another two hours inside the aircraft. Inside the aircraft passengers were getting various conflicting reports on the reasons for the delay.” Shalini said the first reason given by the air hostess in the aircraft was that a stepladder was rammed into the door of the aircraft causing minor dents.
“After sometime the air hostess said that there was no water available to load on to the aircraft at the new airport. This however was not drinking water, but water that is required for the use of the onboard toilets,” said Shalini.
When TOI contacted senior officials of the airline, they said that the delay was due to traffic congestion over Bangalore airspace and ATC issues. The officials dismissed all other reports. Sources at the airport said that lack of proper co-ordination between BIAL authorities and ATC was resulting in constant delays. “BIAL authorities issue one command, then the ATC gives another, finally incoming and outgoing aircraft don’t have any clue as to where to park or where to go,” said an airline official. ATC officials say that flight delays are being caused by ground handling staff. Also due to the shortage of manpower, there are too few people handling too many aircraft at one time.
Earlier, dismissing concerns over the proper functioning of BIA’s ATC, in e-mail reply, BIAL had said, “As confirmed earlier, the ATC is functioning well. The initial glitches that we faced were due to certain ground handling issues. BIAL has a special task force that is identifying and addressing issues with regards operations at the airport. We have already taken action to ensure better ground handling process.” Furthermore, passengers are feeling claustrophobic in the waiting lounge of the terminal building. “There is so much of retail space that there is no space for people to sit. Passengers are just being made to stand and the whole place resembles a bus terminus,” said a passenger. “The acoustics at the airport is so bad that one just cant hear any announcements. One literally needs to put on hearing aids to figure out what is being said,” said another passenger.


Post a Comment

<< Home