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Delhi Airport’s row with small aircraft operators sees PMO intervention

6 September 2016  •  Author: Roy Manuell, Digital Content Producer

The Prime Minister’s Office, India, has made an intervention following a dispute between Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL) and small aircraft operators.


Delhi International had been putting curbs on small aircraft operators looking after the maintenance of their own machinery. The Prime Minister’s Office has since sent a letter to DIAL from an expert in the field arguing that the decision would lead to an increased cost for general aviation operators.

Operators of business jets at Delhi Airport were told that they would no longer be permitted to autonomously maintain their aircraft or conduct self-handling and that their vehicle passes were not renewed for air side movement.

When questioned, Delhi International responded with the following statement:

“It was suggested by a global consultant to have two concessionaires with international presence at Delhi airport in order to provide competitive environment with respect to provision of quality services. Such a structure is prevalent at other international airports also. General aviation community had also opined earlier for similar structure to be implemented in Indian airports.”

It further suggested that the rule to limit ground handling and the maintenance of business jets at Delhi Airport to two companies was to increase a high level of quality standards.

Aircraft operators conversely argue that the proposed changes damage inter-regional connectivity and economic growth in smaller towns, contradicting the principles of the Regional Connectivity Scheme under the new Civil Aviation Policy.

Delhi Airport has since denied these allegations. 

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