The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a stay order on Meghalaya High Court direction to summon low-cost airlines IndiGo and SpiceJet, if plan to start flights from Umroi airport, 30 km from capital Shillong, is not submitted by December 14.
The country's top court has asked airlines to proceed with meetings with Director General of Civil Aviation, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airport Authority of India to develop roadmap for flights to Shillong.
"It is not a taxi service, that you run it from here to there," said senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Indigo Airlines.
Rohatgi further said that the Meghalaya HC has become the regulator.
The Meghalaya High Court (HC) has been nudging airlines through the aviation ministry since January to launch flights to the Umroi airport in Shillong. "It was found desirable" to put the airlines on notice because "it appears that the airlines have taken the matter very lightly and not bothered to advance the public cause."
The HC is using the route dispersal guidelines, which force them to deploy flights to remote areas — routes to Shillong and other parts of the North East are classified as Category II A — to push them to launch operations.
IndiGo and SpiceJet have informed the Supreme Court that they cannot begin commercial operations from Shillong because the airport there lacks infrastructure facilities to support commercial operations of large aircraft.
"There are issues with load, altitude, runway, need to resolve these issues before operating flights to Shillong," Rohatgi said on Thursday.
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First Published: IST