Private airlines are choosing not to use aerobridges for boarding and deboarding an aircraft in order to save money and therefore, aged people are bearing the brunt as they have to use stairs, a Parliamentary committee stated on Monday.
“The Committee deplores this apathetic and unreasonable attitude of the private airlines,” its report said, adding that such carriers should be penalised by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Aerobridge is a moveable tunnel that is extended from airport building to the aircraft for boarding or deboarding passengers. Airlines have to pay a certain charge to the airport for using aerobridge facilities.
A report of Parliamentary Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture was tabled in Rajya Sabha on Monday, wherein it said that despite having aerobridges in some of the airports, the airlines are not using them for boarding and deboarding the passengers and are instead using staircases. “Despite charging passengers, aerobridge facilities are not being used by private airlines to reduce operational cost,” it mentioned.
Due to this, passengers — especially the aged ones — have to bear the brunt and climb the stairs of the parking stand to board an aircraft, it noted.
“The committee deplores this apathetic and unreasonable attitude of the private airlines and strongly recommends that its circular on the aforesaid subject may be strictly enforced,” it mentioned.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation had in 2018 issued a circular to all Indian airport operators stating that if an aerobridge is available for boarding and deboarding passengers, it must be used for their convenience.
The Committee on Monday recommended that the ministry should conduct regular surprise checks to ensure compliance of their circular and “in case there is a default, the concerned private airlines should be penalised”.