The Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in Delhi, the country’s largest airport, has announced a temporary suspension of all flight operations for over two hours every day till January 26, 2024. This is in connection with the security and preparatory measures for the upcoming Republic Day celebrations.
Flight Restrictions Affect All Types of Flights
According to an official statement, there will be no flight arrivals or departures at the Delhi airport from 10.20 am to 12.45 pm IST during this period. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has issued a revised Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), extending the existing restrictions to encompass all types of flights, including non-scheduled, scheduled, and chartered flights.
Previously, the limitations were imposed only on non-scheduled flights, with certain exceptions. This revised directive expands the scope of the curbs, affecting both domestic and international flights.
NOTAMs are critical advisories issued to inform aviation personnel about essential operational details or changes.
Broader Airspace Limitations Also in Place
In addition to the daily restrictions, broader airspace limitations will also be in effect from January 19 to January 29, 2024, specifically for the Republic Day events.
During January 19-25, non-scheduled operations of scheduled airlines and chartered flights will not be allowed landing or take-off permissions from 10 am to 1.15 pm IST. These restrictions will extend from 6 am to 9 pm IST from January 26 to January 29.
It’s important to note that these NOTAM restrictions will not impact operations of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Border Security Force (BSF), Army aviation helicopters, or state-owned aircraft and helicopters used for transporting Governors or Chief Ministers.
Republic Day Celebrations Require High-Level Security
The temporary suspension of flight operations during this period is part of the standard security and preparatory measures undertaken annually for the Republic Day celebrations.
The Republic Day marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of India on January 26, 1950. It is celebrated with a grand parade at the Rajpath in New Delhi, where the President of India, the Prime Minister of India, and other dignitaries attend the event. The parade also showcases the cultural and military diversity of the country, as well as the achievements of various sectors and states.
The Republic Day celebrations also involve fly-pasts by the IAF, aerobatic displays by various teams, and the release of tricolour balloons. These activities require a high level of coordination and security, which necessitate the closure of the airspace over the national capital for certain hours.
Passengers Advised to Check Flight Status Before Travel
The temporary suspension of flight operations at the Delhi airport may cause inconvenience to the passengers who have booked their flights during this period. They are advised to check the status of their flights with their respective airlines before travelling to the airport.
The Delhi airport handles about 1,300 flights daily, catering to millions of passengers every year. It is one of the busiest airports in the world, and has won several awards for its service and infrastructure.
The Delhi airport authorities have requested the cooperation and understanding of the passengers and the public for the smooth conduct of the Republic Day celebrations.