7 flights hover over city awaiting nod to land

Ahmedabad Mirror | 2 months ago | 19-09-2022 | 06:00 am

7 flights hover over city awaiting nod to land

Heavy air traffic at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport on Sunday morning resulted in seven flights that were to land at the airport being unable to do so. They thus had to hover above the airport for some time before being allowed to land.Airline sources said the ongoing construction of the taxiway on the runway was also affecting airline operations. Sources said the aircraft traffic is heavy at the airport on weekends with a flight being cleared for take-off or landing every 10 to 15minutes.Flight congestion took place on Sunday morningOn Sunday morning for an hour between 7.30 AM to 8.30 AM, the Air Traffic Control (ATC) gave clearance for take-off to an aircraft every 10 minutes. Since the runway had a lot of congestion for flights that were to take off, a clearance could not be given to those that wanted to land.This resulted in seven flights of airlines like Indigo, Vistara and Emeritus having to hover over the airport during different periods.Apart from this, sources said, the ongoing construction work of the taxiway on the runway also results in repeated flight delays.Delays burn ATF, escalate costs for airlinesA source said that when a flight has to hover above the airport waiting to get permission to land it results in wastage of air turbine fuel which adds to the overall expense of an airline.Seven flights that were impacted• Mumbai-Ahmedabad (Indigo)• Kolkata-Ahmedabad, (Indigo)• Hyderabad-Ahmedabad, (Indigo)• Delhi-Ahmedabad, (Indigo)• Mumbai-Ahmedabad,(Vistara)• Delhi-Ahmedabad, (Vistara)• Dubai-Ahmedabad,(Emirates)

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Times of India | 19 hours ago | 01-12-2022 | 01:43 pm
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19 hours ago | 01-12-2022 | 01:43 pm

AHMEDABAD: A rising number of gold smuggling cases have been detected at the Ahmedabad airport, and at airports across the country, ever since the basic customs duty on gold went up. At the Ahmedabad airport alone, seizures of smuggled gold have spiked by 37.5% merely eight months into FY 2023 as compared to FY 2022, suggests the data released by the Ahmedabad customs commissionerate. From March to November 2022, 30 persons have been arrested at the Ahmedabad airport in connection with gold smuggling. About 40kg of gold was seized in FY 2022 and the figure shot up to 55kg in the current fiscal. Effective July 1 this year, gold started attracting a basic customs duty of 12.5% in addition to the 2.5% agriculture cess. Over and above this, 3% GST is also applicable on gold purchases, taking the effective duties and taxes on gold to 18%. On Wednesday, the gold price stood at Rs 54,400 per 10 gram in the Ahmedabad market. Therefore, for every kilogram of gold smuggled, the smuggler makes a profit of Rs 9.7 lakh, excluding costs paid to couriers. “Due to the geopolitical uncertainty and economic instability, yellow metal prices are already high. With the Indian currency depreciating past the 81-mark, the effective price of gold in the Indian market is even higher after adding duties,” said Haresh Acharya, director, India Bullion and Jewellers’ Association. Acharya added: “Therefore, the procurement of gold through unofficial channels is increasingly taking place here to save duties.” In fact, IBJA has already sent a representation to the Union finance ministry, seeking to abolish the basic customs duty on gold and instead hiking the GST to 15%. “In that situation, smugglers will not get any incentive to procure gold from other countries. A level-playing field will be created for gold industry players, as unofficial procurements will stop,” said a senior IBJA official. “At the same time, the exchequer will not lose revenue. It will also make the gold market more organized.”

Gold smuggling: Volume up by 37% in Ahd
Flyers will have to reach airport two hours early
Ahmedabad Mirror | 2 days ago | 30-11-2022 | 06:00 am
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2 days ago | 30-11-2022 | 06:00 am

Domestic air passengers will have to reach the airport two hours before schedule. Usually, passengers usually reach one hour before their scheduled domestic flight. However, with increased footfall, many have been missing their flights on busy routes. Keeping this in mind, airlines may also issue advisory asking passengers to reach 1.5 to 2 hours earlier for check-ins.Post Diwali, passenger footfall at Ahmedabad airport has witnessed a steady rise. Owing to NRI season, elections and religious programmes, domestic passenger traffic at the airport has touched 32,000 people per day.As a result, during peak hours on busy routes, check-in and boarding counters witness heavy rush leading to long queues.On the other hand, there have been complaints that on some routes, passengers are offloaded due to overbooking by airlines.Prahladnagar resident and businessman Chirag Patel is a frequent flyer. He flies in and out of the city 8-10 times a month.He said, “A few days ago, I reached on time for my early morning flight and yet, the airline had closed the luggage counter. Many times, the doors are closed. As a result, I had to pay more money to catch a connecting flight.”Airlines, which overbook have to offload many passengers due to load restrictions. This happens because most flyers arrive at the airport an hour before the scheduled flight. As a result, the check-in and boarding counters get crowded and lot of time is wasted there.Ahmedabad airport sources said normal footfall ranges between 26,000 and 27,000. However, during Diwali it rises and after the festive season it drops again. However, this time with elections and NRI season at the peak, passenger traffic has risen by 5,000. Such an advisory was issued during Diwali festive season also.Sources said airport and airlines may issue the advisories asking passengers to reach two hours early.

Flyers will have to reach airport two hours early
A-listers air their views in Gujarat, landslide win for charter flights
Times of India | 3 days ago | 29-11-2022 | 05:40 am
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AHMEDABAD: As political bigwigs 'carpet bombed' poll-bound Gujarat by holding 400-odd rallies across state since the announcement of the election, slogans as well as charter flights have rent the air. At least 650 charter aircraft movements were recorded at the general aviation terminal of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) airport from November 4 to November 28, as star campaigners held rallies and public meetings in the run-up to one of the most consequential elections in recent time. The charter flight movements are about 60% higher than in September, when on average 15 charter aircraft flew in and out of Gujarat, an airport source told TOI. In addition to corporate travel, electoral campaigns are driving charter movements in the state. Besides PM Narendra Modi, a battery of political notables including BJP president J P Nadda, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, and Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath have visited Gujarat since the poll was declared. Airports and airstrips across Gujarat have been busy handling private jets and helicopters this month, catering to the VIPs from the BJP, the Congress, and the AAP. “Since November 11, about 270 non-scheduled flight movements have been recorded here, including those of 180 choppers,” said another source. “The surge was spurred by the bustling election campaign and movement of star campaigners.” The Bhavnagar airport, which typically handles one flight a day, had to deal with 19 aircraft landings on Saturday alone. That day Union home minister Amit Shah, Gujarat BJP president C R Paatil, and Congress MP Shaktisinh Gohil, among others arrived in the district for canvassing. Most political heavyweights flew by private charters and hired helicopters. Ahmedabad’s SVPI airport, which contended with 650-700 charter movements over the past 28 days, also handled scheduled commercial operations of about 6,700 flights.

A-listers air their views in Gujarat, landslide win for charter flights
Surat: Traffic restrictions only during PM’s visit
Times of India | 4 days ago | 27-11-2022 | 04:35 pm
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4 days ago | 27-11-2022 | 04:35 pm

SURAT: Multiple roads in the city are to remain closed for routine traffic movement on Sunday evening and Monday morning owing to stringent police bandobast for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the city on those two days. People coming or going to Surat airport from the city will have to plan movement in advance as Dumas Road will be off bounds for general traffic for a few hours. After arrival at the city airport, Modi will go to Mota Varachha through Dumas Road, Athwalines main road, Ring road and from Sahara Darwaja to Parvat Patia. He will reach the venue through BRTS canal road and Savji Korat Bridge. Barricading at a few locations on the stretch has already been done as people are expected to gather in large numbers to get a glimpse of Modi. Similarly, Modi will return to the airport from Circuit House on Monday morning. For this, there will be traffic restrictions from Athwalines to the city airport. City police had earlier announced restrictions for parking and movement of vehicles from 6am on Sunday on the entire stretch. While returning to the airport, restrictions will be imposed between 7am and 2 pm. Senior police officials have issued clarification that the traffic restrictions will not be for the entire day, but only for specific periods facilitating the PM’s convoy to cross through these stretches. “The traffic restrictions will not be for the entire day but for some time when the PM’s convoy passes through the stretch. The traffic restrictions will be not more than a few minutes in the evening,” said Ajay Tomar, city police commissioner. The police will install tight bandobast on the entire stretch, even as the intersections to cross the road on which Modi’s convoy will pass through, will be kept closed. On weekends, Gaurav Path Dumas Road is the favourite hangout for Surtis and Modi’s visit is likely to attract thousands.

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Demand for direct flights to US rises
Ahmedabad Mirror | 5 days ago | 27-11-2022 | 06:00 am
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5 days ago | 27-11-2022 | 06:00 am

After Air India announced direct flights to Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, demand for direct flights from Ahmedabad to US is on the rise.Aviation department sources said, “Despite allotment of slots for direct flights from Ahmedabad to US 10 years back, the flight has not started.”He added, “As a result, lakhs of tourists coming to Gujarat reach Ahmedabad via Delhi or Mumbai after hours of halt. Due to this, the elderly and students suffer a lot.”Hence, the Federation of Gujarati Association (FOGA) has made representations at different levels to start direct Ahmedabad-US flights.Of around 50 lakh Indians living in US, 17-18 lakh are Gujaratis. And, these people travel to Gujarat mostly in the November-January period, which is considered NRI season.However, irrespective of the NRI season or religious events like the Pramukh Swami birth centenary, millions of Gujarati families from the US frequently visit Ahmedabad from New York, New Jersey, San Francisco and Chicago.Instead of Delhi and Mumbai, demand for direct flights from Ahmedabad to various places in the US has risen.As further evidence, Manish Sharma, chairman of the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) Gujarat Chapter, pointed, “About 62-70% on Air India flying from Mumbai and Delhi to US are Gujaratis.”He added, “Though a direct flight slot from Ahmedabad to US was allotted to Air India in 2007, it was discontinued in 2012. At that time, the US government gave excuse that the baggage screening system at Ahmedabad airport was not ultra-modern.”However, airport sources claim that the baggage screening system has touched international standards over the past one-and-a-half years after the management of Ahmedabad Airport was handed to a private company.

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