Also wants 8.30am to 1pm slot for charter landings; Authority agrees to most demands
PANJIM: In a bid to boost charter flights to Goa, Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) has urged Airports Authority of India (AAI) to waive off penalty in case of delayed arrivals and refund the deposit.
AAI is charging a slot fee/penalty of Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 from charter operators for delays caused by weather and operating conditions in its place of origin. TTAG feels that this deposit for slot charging fee/penalty needs to be withdrawn.
“We have no issue in keeping a slot deposit to safeguard against the possibility of operators blocking slots and not utilising them. However, in other countries there is no such rule. On the contrary, charter operators are given subsidy/incentives as they bring huge groups of tourists whereas we don’t offer any schemes. At least charter airlines should not be imposed a fine for any delay in arrival,” TTAG President Savio Messias told Herald after the association’s meeting with AAI Chairman Guruprasad Mahapatra at Benaulim on Friday.
TTAG also urged AAI that slots be finalised and allocated before the commencement of the charter season. “Historically we used to operate from 8.30 am to 1pm, but last season, this facility was withdrawn by AAI and we faced difficulties. We request that the 8.30-1pm slot be reinstated for smooth operation of charter flights and domestic slots should start from 1pm. This would go a long way to avoid mixing up of passengers,” the association president said.
The tourism stakeholder also suggested that AAI and Indian Navy give sufficient notice to airline operators about plans to carry out major works related to the runaway, apron or airport building.
There were also some hiccups at the international terminal pointed out by TTAG claiming that only 13-14 desks for e-visas out of 20 are serviceable. “Sometimes even out of those in service, only 7-8 are serviceable, due to shortage of staff,” TTAG submitted.
Sources said AAI has agreed to most of the demands while on the immigration issue, a joint meeting with the immigration officials is likely to be held. It has also been learnt that the multi-level car parking will be commissioned in the next two months.