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DGCA Sets up Panel To Review OTP Procedure as IndiGo Questions Data

Civil aviation regulator DDirectorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has set up a panel to look into the procedure of computing of the On-Time Performance (OTP) data of domestic carriers by the airports following Gurgaon-based carrier IndiGo questioning its accuracy.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:January 5, 2017, 7:45 PM IST
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DGCA Sets up Panel To Review OTP Procedure as IndiGo Questions Data
File image of IndiGo Airlines aircraft (Picture courtesy: Reuters)

New Delhi: Civil aviation regulator DDirectorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has set up a panel to look into the procedure of computing of the On-Time Performance (OTP) data of domestic carriers by the airports following Gurgaon-based carrier IndiGo questioning its accuracy.

Till recently, OTP was one of the USPs and a major contributing factor in IndiGo's growth.

However, it recorded its lowest OTP, at a poor 72.4 percent from four metro airports, in more than two years in November 2016. This led the airline questioning the data collection system, particularly at Mumbai airport, which is in place for many years now.

"The DGCA has set up a panel last week which would look into the issue of both OTP and block time of airlines to ensure accuracy of data collected and filed to the regulator by the airport operators," sources said.

OTP of an airline is measured from the time an aircraft gets detached from an aerobridge or step ladder for the push back at the departing airport to the time it gets attached to an aerobridge or step ladder at the arriving airport.

Block time or block hours refer to the span of time from the switching on of the aircraft's engines to its switching off.

At present Directorate General of Civil Aviation publishes monthly on time performance of domestic airlines from four metro airports--Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad-- through Visual Docking Guidance System (VDGS).

The VDGS is also available at 30 more airports, including Chennai and Kolkata operated by the AAI. However, the VDGS at these airports is non-functional as the state-owned airport operator has not yet procured the software required to run the system, sources said.

IndiGo had reportedly approached the regulator in December last, seeking a probe into the data collection method of the GVK-run Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), from where nearly 40 percent of its flights had failed to either depart or arrive on their scheduled time in November.

Last month, ICICI Securities, the investment banking arm of the ICICI Bank, had in a report said that IndiGo's OTP was likely to remain under pressure in the current fiscal as it adds more aircraft in the remaining period.

As on date, IndiGo fleet size stands at 126 as against 107 aircraft on March 31, 2016. IndiGo witnessed a sharp decline in its OTP from four major airports to 72.4 per cent in November 2016 from 81.2 percent the previous month, lowest in more than last two years.

"While this could be due to fog related disruptions in the winter, with even higher capacity addition planned during the remainder of FY17, the OTP could remain under pressure for IndiGo and will be keenly watched," ICICI Securities said in its report.

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