New Delhi|Jan,19: No flights will be allowed to land at, or take-off, from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport between 10:20 am and 12:45 pm till Republic Day, or January 26, the government said in a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) issued Friday morning.
Earlier news agency ANI said airspace restrictions would be in effect till Republic Day and again on January 29, when the Beating Retreat ceremony will be held on Delhi’s Vijay Chowk. The report also said Delhi airport will be shut – no flights can take-off or land – from 6 am to 9 pm on Republic Day.The NOTAM will not affect helicopter operations of the Air Force, Army, or Border Security Force, or aircraft operated by the centre that are ferrying the Governor or Chief Minister of a state.The partial shutdown of ops at one of the busiest airports in the world is an annual feature as the capital is put under a security blanket before the Republic Day celebrations.The 145-minute closure of Delhi airport daily for the next week could further affect commercial schedules, after weeks of heavy fog caused delays, diversions, and/or cancellations of hundreds of flights. Visuals of the chaos were widely shared online, and the flashpoint was the shocking assault of an IndiGo flight captain by an irate flier on the Delhi-Goa service after a delay of nearly 13 hours.Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia this week announced a six-point action plan to combat fog-induced disruptions to domestic and international commercial flight ops. In a post on X, Mr Scindia outlined new SOPs for airlines to “mitigate passenger inconvenience” and set up ‘war rooms’.
India will celebrate its 75th Republic Day next week with France President Emmanuel Macron as the chief guest; this will be the 6th time a French leader will be the guest of honour at an R-Day parade. As part of the security blanket for the big day, Delhi Police has banned the use of paragliders and other flying objects till February 15. The list of banned objects includes hang gliders and microlight aircraft, as well as unmanned or remotely piloted aircrafts and drones, and hot air balloons. Para jumping, or parachuting, has also been banned. Delhi Police’s East District division held a mock anti-terror drill at the Akshardham Temple. The exercise is designed to evaluate the force’s readiness to respond to diverse crisis situations.