(MENAFN- Live Mint) "The government has instructed Mumbai Airport to reduce scheduled flights and restrict the movement of business jets during peak hours, aiming to alleviate congestion and improve on-time departures, the Economic Times reported. The decision is expected to impact around 40 flights and disrupt the operations of private jets frequently used by top business houses in the country Airport Authority of India (AAI), responsible for air navigation services, has directed the airport to decrease aircraft movement from 46 to 44 during rush hours and from 44 to 42 during non-peak hours directive will lead to the reduction of approximately 40 flights, with IndiGo facing the highest cut of 18 flights and the Air India group, including Vistara, having to cut 17 flights, sources told the paper Curfew for Business Jets Sparks Corporate ProtestsSimultaneously, the curfew on the operation of business jets has been extended from four hours to eight hours. This move has prompted protests from major corporate groups such as Reliance Industries, JSW, and the Mahindra group International Airport Limited (MIAL), the airport operator owned by the Adani group, did not comment, the report added decision to reduce flights and extend the business jet curfew comes after Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia expressed concerns about the declining on-time departure performance at the airport air traffic controllers attribute delays primarily to overscheduling by airlines amid a surge in demand for air travel. Government officials emphasised that factors such as infrastructure availability and unscheduled movements, such as government and business aircraft, contribute to delays, the report said on Aviation OperationsRajesh Bali, MD of the Business Aircraft Operator Association, told the paper that additional restrictions on business jets would significantly impede business aviation operations, affecting Mumbai's role as the nation's commercial hub network planners said abrupt flight cancellations would pose challenges in redeploying aircraft, leading to financial losses. They also anticipate significant compensation payouts to affected passengers, as per the report government's decision reflects the broader challenges faced by airports nationwide due to increased air traffic post-Covid. The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has mandated that any addition of new flights must consider the passenger-handling capacity at security checkpoints, setting standards for the maximum number of passengers handled per hour by X-ray machines on both domestic and international sides.
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