Indian Aviation Watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has approved special Visual Flight Rules (VFR) operations at Gondia Airport in Maharashtra. With this approval, airlines will be able to operate to the airport, even when visibility is less than 5,000 meters.
DGCA Approves VFR Operations at Gondia
With an aim to reduce flight delays because of fog and low visibility, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has approved special VFR operations at Gondia Airport. Now, airlines operating ATR 72 aircraft to Gondia will be able to operate with visibility up to 3,200 meters. Before this approval, the minimum visibility for operations of the ATR fleet was 5,000 meters. With this move, the airport operations will run smoothly in case of dense fog conditions as well.
DGCA in a statement said that it was satisfied with the airline’s adherence to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). DGCA evaluated the airline’s safety risk assessment and mitigation processes of the airline. After that, the approval was granted. To secure this regulatory approval, SOPs played an important role.
DGCA has asked IndiGo to submit a report after the first 30 flights. This report will include the feedback of flights operated under the VFR operations. The regulator will analyze the data in a detailed manner.
IndiGo: The Exclusive Operator
Talking about scheduled commercial operations at Gondia Airport, IndiGo is the only airline operating regular flights to the airfield. The airport is primarily used by Flying Training Organizations (FTOs) to train cadets.
IndiGo started commercial operations between Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (HYD) and Gondia Airport on December 1. The maiden flight was flagged by former Minister of Civil Aviation Praful Patel. The airline connects the airport to Tirupati via Hyderabad with daily flights. IndiGo uses the 70-seater ATR 72 for this route. With ATR aircraft, the airline can now operate in visibility up to 3,200 meters.
More Airports Under VFR Operations
In November month, DGCA also approved Special Visual Flight Rules (VFR) operations at Deoghar Airport in Jharkhand. Before this, Rourkela Airport received approval for such operations.
With this approval, airlines can operate flights to these Tier-II & Tier-III city airports in difficult conditions as well. This move is expected to enhance the mile-to-mile connectivity planned by the Government of India under the Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik – Regional Connectivity Scheme (UDAN-RCS).
The DGCA’s new regulations are a critical step toward resolving the ongoing issues that airliners encounter, such as delays, diversions, and cancellations brought on by poor visibility at smaller airports. The aviation regulator’s new regulations are a big step toward solving the problems of low visibility-related aircraft delays, diversions, and cancellations at smaller airports.