Civil aviation ministry sounds Air Deccan to commence Jamshedpur-Calcutta flights

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Start operation by Dec 15 or face cancellation of allotment of the route: Choubey

Jamshedpur: Union civil aviation secretary, Rajiv Nayan Choubey on Friday said that a notice was served to Air Deccan last week. The notice was served to Air Deccan from the ministry to start the Jamshedpur-Calcutta operation.

Union civil aviation secretary, Rajiv Nayan Choubey, after a two hour-long meeting with Tata Steel aviation authorities and East Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amit Kumar and Jamshedpur MP Bidyut Baran Mahto this evening at Sonari Airport, said that as per the notice they would have to start operation by December 15 or face cancellation of allotment of the route. The Air Deccan founder G. R Gopinath has assured of starting of flight service before that period.

The aviation ministry said that if Air Deccan fails to start the flight within the stipulated time period, the ministry would again put the route for bidding as per centre’s UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) yojana. It would take a minimum of three months for bidding process of the route and the new flight operator who would win the bid will then be given six months to start operation.

“We are confident that the Air Deccan will start operation as they already have four 19-seater planes in their possession, as the existing airstrip at Sonari Airport, as per latest safety parameters of DGCA is fit only for 19-seater flights,” said Choubey.

Air Deccan which had bagged bid under Regional Connectivity Scheme for Jamshedpur- Kolkata route and was scheduled to start the flight in February this year, suddenly postponed their plans citing load restrictions imposed by DGCA for operation of a 19-seater aircraft (hired by Air Deccan).

As per the scheme, the Centre will subsidise the losses incurred by airlines flying out of dormant airports, to allow airlines to charge Rs 2,500 for an hour’s flight to passengers. About 80 percent of the subsidy will be collected by charging a levy of up to Rs 8,500 on each departing flight of domestic airlines and the rest 20 per cent will come from the respective state governments.

Incidentally, the Jharkhand government had signed an MoU with Union civil aviation ministry under the RCS in August 2016. As of now there is no regular air service from Jamshedpur to any other parts.

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