Technological upgrades and humanitarian work by the ministry enumerated in the press conference addressed by ministers of civil aviation. Anti-hijacking Bill soon.
New Delhi — Minister for Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati launched here today a ‘Know Your Rights’ (KYR) portal of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in the presence of Minister of State for Civil Aviation GM Siddeshwara and other dignitaries to mark 100 days of the new government. While addressing a press conference on the occasion, the minister listed out the major achievements and initiatives of the ministry from May to August this year. He also mentioned the humanitarian work undertaken by Air India for flood victims in Jammu and Kashmir.
Describing the features of the KTR portal, Prabhat Kumar, DGCA, said that it would provide information on the rights of passengers in cases of delays, cancellation and denied boarding, lost, delayed, misplaced and damaged baggage; and on matters related to booking, airfare components and refund of air tickets. The information on availability of the grievance redress mechanism, names of nodal officers and contact numbers would be shared with the public on the portal.
On the occasion, Joint Secretary Civil Aviation Asok Kumar made a power-point presentation on the steps taken by the ministry in the first 100 days. Airports Authority of India (AAI) has developed a no-frills airport model to promote tourism industry and other economic activities in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. It is committed to start work in five selected locations in Tezu (Arunachal Pradesh), Hubli and Belgaum (Karnataka),Kishangarh (Rajasthan) and Jharsuguda (Odisha) in this financial year. AAI has also awarded the contract to construct a new integrated terminal building at Veer Savarkar International Airport, Port Blair with the capacity to handle 600 domestic and 600 international passengers. It has also signed an MoU with Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) for the establishment of solar power plants of 50 MW capacity to tap alternate sources of energy. Solar Photo Voltaic Power Plants would be set up at AAI airports to meet not only their own requirements but also to feed the surplus power generated to the local grid playing the progressive role of prosumer (portmanteau originally formed by contracting “producer” with the word “consumer”).
A state of the art automation system at Kolkata has been installed and data from 9 radars and 8 ADS-B stations have been integrated into the system. The system provides the controllers with decision making tools, safety alerts and conflicted predictions and detection tools leading to enhanced safety and efficiency of aircraft operations. Similarly, an ATM automation system at Mumbai has been upgraded and radar data from Mumbai, Bhopal, Ahmadabad, Udaipur, Hyderabad, Porbander, Bellary and Nagpur radars have been integrated into the system leading to an enhanced and seamless radar coverage.
In order to facilitate disabled passengers, an order in the form of Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) has already been issued on extra facilities to be provided to disabled passengers. The said order, besides existing facilities, extends facilities like blocking of two window seats till 24 hours before departure, delivery of check-in baggage either at the ladder point or exit of escalator belt, airline ground handling staff with specialised training and compensation on the damage of assistive equipment. CISF has established helpdesks at 76 airports for assisting the passengers. QR code-based mobile application for public grievance system has started at 20 airports.
Air India joined Star Alliance on 11 July this year. With this, the national carrier’s passengers are offered more itinerary choices to cover 1,269 destinations in 193 countries around the world. Lauding the role of Air India, the Civil Aviation minister said, “It successfully evacuated 1361 Indian workers and 9 children from Iraq and Libya in its 6 special flights from 4 July to 18 August this year.” He also said that an anti-hijacking Bill, in line with the Beijing Protocol, would be placed in Parliament in the forthcoming session. On the occasion, the minister released a “Standards of Services” document listing the services and transactions offered by DGCA to the public.