In this State of the Economy podcast, Govindarajan Bashyam, Chief Operating Officer of Tirwin Management Services (P) Ltd, delves into the challenges faced by airports and airlines in North India, particularly Delhi, due to dense fog causing flight delays. The conversation highlights the recurring nature of this issue during winter and explores the unique difficulties airports and airlines face in managing the situation.

Bashyam provides insights into the historical context of such challenges, emphasizing that it is not a new phenomenon for the region. The primary contributor to the problem is identified as the closure of one of the runways for re-carpeting work, affecting the airport’s capacity to handle winter operations efficiently.

The discussion touches upon the lack of preparedness and the need for proper planning and foresight by airport authorities. The closure of a crucial runway is criticised, and concerns are raised about the impact on flight schedules, leading to widespread frustration among passengers.

The discussion expands to address the social media outcry and public dissatisfaction, with incidents such as passengers using the tarmac as a recreational area during delays. Bashyam argues that such actions pose security and safety risks, and there’s a call for more stringent measures to prevent such incidents.

The conversation also delves into the role of fines imposed by civil aviation authorities on airlines and airports for non-compliance. While acknowledging the fines, Bashyam questions their effectiveness, suggesting that the penalties should be more significant to deter repeat offences. The lack of passenger compensation and clear regulations for flight delays is also discussed, with a call for more comprehensive measures to address passenger grievances. Listen in.