Indian low-cost carrier Go First has been involved in a somewhat bizarre incident which will see the airline banned from operating from Delhi International Airport for a two hour period.
This comes after a recent BCAS (Bureau of Civil Aviation Security) ruling which suspended the airline’s security program on April 1 from 12:00pm IST – 2:00pm IST.
This ruling was based on a security breach by Go First which occurred in September 2022. During the hours of the proposed ban, no scheduled flight of Go First will land or takeoff from the Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport.
The agency has asked the airline to ensure alternate arrangements to avoid disruption.
The September 2022 security breach
This ruling was a result of security breach from Go First airline on 24September, 2022. A Go First aircraft was on a scheduled flight from Delhi to Mumbai with 98 passengers on board.
As the aircraft was taxiing towards the runway when the pilot noticed a technical snag with the aircraft and decided to return to parking bay in order to get the issue rectified.
Once the aircraft returned to its bay and the engineers checked the aircraft, they decided to move the passengers to another parked aircraft.
This is where things started to go wrong for the airline as according to an order passed by BCAS in 2021, it is prohibited for the airline to carry out a ramp to ramp transfer of passengers or their luggage.
Now, ramp to ramp transfer is a procedure which is used by airline to save time in instances such as when the aircraft which is full loaded with passengers and crew is unable to follow its schedule.
The airline moves the passengers form one aircraft to another without having the passengers sent back to terminal and then again to their new aircraft.
On the day in September last year, Go First did just this and transferred these passengers to another parked aircraft using their shuttle without permission; involving the CISF which is responsible for the safety of airports in the country.
Following this incident, on 5 January, 2023, BCAS directed the airline to suspend its operations from 08:00am IST to 05:00pm IST on 19 January, 2023.
But this order was kept on hold by the ministry as it decided to give the airline a chance to explain itself.
After due diligence the ministry concluded that the airline was in violation of the order but modified the original BCAS verdict and instead of a 9 hour ban the ministry has banned the airlines security programme for 2 hours on 1st April,2023.
Just how many of the airline’s scheduled flights will be affected by the two hour ban is still unknown.