Unlocking Clarity: DGCA Unveils Protocols for Airlines Amidst Fog-Induced Flight Delays and Cancellations


In the aftermath of heightened criticism surrounding flight delays at Delhi Airport, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has rolled out comprehensive guidelines for airlines, mandating the provision of precise, real-time updates to passengers grappling with delays.

Navigating Chaos: DGCA’s Response to Flight Delays Caused by Fog

In the backdrop of a tumultuous scene at Delhi Airport on a fog-laden Sunday, the DGCA swiftly responded to the uproar over delays and chaos by issuing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for airlines. Let’s delve into the key aspects of these SOPs:

Real-time Transparency: A Mandate for Airlines

Acknowledging the turbulence caused by fog-induced flight delays, the DGCA has emphasized the necessity for airlines to furnish accurate real-time information. This information is not merely confined to the airport premises but extends to various communication channels.

Multi-Channel Communication: A Holistic Approach

To ensure passengers stay well-informed, the regulator has mandated the publication of real-time updates on the airline’s website. Additionally, passengers are to be promptly notified through SMS, WhatsApp, and email, ensuring a multi-faceted approach to communication.

In-Airport Guidance: Enhancing Passenger Experience

Recognizing the frustration of passengers waiting at the airports, the DGCA has urged airlines to display updated information regarding flight delays on-site. Furthermore, it emphasizes the need for a well-trained and sensitized airline staff to effectively communicate with passengers, providing continuous guidance during these situations.

In response to prevalent fog conditions, the DGCA recommends proactive cancellation of flights anticipated to be delayed beyond a 3-hour threshold. This measure aims to prevent airport congestion and mitigate inconvenience to passengers.

Legal Safeguards: A Shield for Air Travelers

The DGCA, through the issuance of the Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR), seeks to safeguard air travelers against disruptions such as denied boardings, cancellations, and delays. Airlines are now obligated to include the reference to CAR on flight tickets, ensuring passengers are aware of their rights.

Unveiling the Reality: Passengers Speak Out

These SOPs materialized following a barrage of complaints from passengers on social media. EazyDiner founder Kapil Chopra highlighted the operational challenges at Delhi Airport, shedding light on runway issues that significantly contributed to delays.

Chopra criticized the civil aviation ministry and the DGCA for overlooking crucial runway maintenance details, adding to the chaos at the airport. Despite the regulator’s clarification on operational runways, passengers’ experiences underscore the intensity of the fog-related challenges faced by airlines.

In conclusion, the DGCA’s proactive measures aim to create a more transparent and passenger-friendly environment amidst challenging weather conditions. As travelers navigate the fog season, these guidelines serve as a beacon of clarity, ensuring a smoother journey despite the unpredictable skies.

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