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Flights to Shillong: IndiGo, SpiceJet move Supreme Court challenging Meghalaya HC order on starting ops

IndiGo and SpiceJet moved the Supreme Court with a petition challenging an ultimatum given by the Meghalaya High Court directing the budget carriers and authorities to start flight services from Shillong by 15 December.

A two-judge bench led by Chief Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir of the Meghalaya High Court ordered the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the aviation ministry and the airlines to finalise plans to begin flight operations to the city, reported CNBC-TV 18.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the petition by the airlines on Thursday, the report said.

Court pulls up AAI

Meanwhile, in November, the Meghalaya High Court had asked the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to submit a report to indicate the date of the full-fledged operationalisation of the Umroi Airport, also known as Shillong airport, near here.

 Flights to Shillong: IndiGo, SpiceJet move Supreme Court challenging Meghalaya HC order on starting ops

Representational image. Reuters

A two-member bench of Chief Justice Mahammad Yaqoob Mir heard the matter regarding operationalisation of the airport on 20 November and expressed dissatisfaction with the AAI as it failed to make the airport operational on 31 October, the date set by the court and agreed jointly by the AAI and the state government.

AAI general manager (ATM) R G Lama informed the court that another test flight was required to be undertaken by Alliance Air to complete the technical checks and procedures for safety.

K Paul, counsel for the defence authorities, informed the court that the issue of visibility is not there anymore as the instrument landing system (ILS) is in place and that Alliance Air flights are operating from Kolkata and landing at the airport.

“Why AAI is prolonging the matter. But now in view of this affidavit, we are persuaded to grant five days time more for submitting the report wherein, the date for operationalisation of the airport shall be indicated and shall be intimated as to when flight will take off from Delhi and land at Umroi airport,” the bench said.

Alliance Air at present operates ATR-42 aircraft from Kolkata to Umroi but flight service from New Delhi to Umroi has not yet been started in the airport. Umroi is the only airport in Meghalaya.

With PTI inputs

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Updated Date: Dec 12, 2018 17:48:57 IST

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