WION Web Team Delhi, India
Jan 07, 2018, 01.21 AM
An estimated 1,000 flights could be cancelled or rescheduled around Republic Day due to an airspace restriction over Indira Gandhi International airport.
Airspace over Delhi is likely to remain blocked for close to two hours between 18 and 26 January.
The restriction could lead to the cancellation or rescheduling of a number flights to and from Delhi Airport.
Close to 500 domestic flights could be cancelled while international flights are likely to get rescheduled. No international flights will be cancelled, airports authorities noted.
The move came in the wake of increased airway traffic and capacity constraints this year.
The airspace over Delhi will be shut for commercial flights to facilitate the rehearsals for the Republic Day celebrations.
As per a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) issued by the Airport Authority of India on December 29, various commercial airlines have been directed against any take-offs or landings at Delhi Airport between 10.35 am and 12.15 pm starting from January 18 to January 26.
"On an average 100 flights will be affected every day. We will accommodate 40 international flights before or after the closure hours. Out of the remaining 60, we will try to reschedule some of the flights. So, we could see roughly 50 flights being cancelled each day," said an airport official.
"International carriers have been requested to reschedule and not cancel their flights... the best and safest course of action is to cancel domestic flights scheduled during the NOTAM period," noted a spokesperson.
Unlike previous occasions, this time no provisions were possible to accommodate spare fights before or after the airway closure hours.
Domestic flights will have to be cancelled due to a paucity of spare capacity and increased airway traffic over Delhi-NCR.