Even though GoAir has already started offering bookings on a Srinagar-Delhi night flight for March-end on its official website, the airport officials said that approval from the central aviation regulator DGCA is a must. Santosh Dhoke, Director, Airports Authority of India, Srinagar, said that there are plans for night flights but approval from DGCA has not been received yet.
Santosh said that they are hoping to get the DGCA clearance in the next two weeks and only after that they can have the night flight operations. He said that the plan is to start night flight operations in the summer schedule which begins from March 27. He said that currently, they have flying time till 5:30 pm but they are hoping to extend it to 8- 8:30 pm so that they can receive and depart the night flights.
GoAir is offering bookings for Srinagar-Delhi flights for March 29 with departure from Srinagar at 8:30 pm and Delhi arrival at 10 pm. The airport authorities at Srinagar Airport said that it is ready to facilitate night operations and it is receiving proposals from airlines with scheduled night flights.
Santosh said that the Srinagar airport has now infrastructure required to start the night flights. On August 10, 2018, a successful trial run of a commercial aircraft during late evening hours was organized at Srinagar after which the Airport was declared as “technically suitable” for facilitating night flights. GoAir, IndiGo and Air India had opted for night flight slots back then.
However, AAI officials in the recent past were constantly making remarks that the airline companies were not expressing much interest in the night flight operations. Earlier on January 22, 2018, a DGCA inspection team had visited Srinagar for conducting an on-ground inspection to check whether the airport can handle night flights.