Wednesday, January 21, 2015

No closure of airspace for Air Force One

NEW DELHI: The Modi government has brought India on equal footing with the world's superpowers — at least on one front. This time, Air Force One flying in Barack Obama to Delhi later this week will get exactly the same treatment that Air India One, carrying our president or PM, gets abroad. 

"As of now, there are no instructions to close airspace in Delhi for commercial aircraft when Air Force One lands and takes off from here. We will follow the protocol that is done whenever our president or PM is flying. The VVIP aircraft will be given priority in landing and take-off. There will be no delay or holding. This is what happens when AI One or IAF One (a Boeing Business Jet maintained and operated by IAF) goes abroad or flies within India," said a senior official. 

As a result, Delhi's airspace is closed like each R-Day from 10.45am to 12.15pm from January 18 to 24 and then the 26th for flypast rehearsals and then the actual thing. As of now, there is no airspace closure due to Air Force One, said multiple sources. 

Till some time back, air traffic would be closed on the runway where a VVIP aircraft is to land or take off for 10 minutes before and after its movement. In the case of all places in India except Delhi, it meant shutting airports for commercial traffic for 20 minutes. 

With three runways, Delhi's IGI Airport saw only the runway earmarked for VVIP operations being closed for other traffic for 20 minutes. But now, even this practice has been discontinued with. 

Also, Air India One is treated exactly as per the new Indian protocol when it flies abroad and now VVIP flights from other countries will be treated the same. 

Original article can be found at:

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