The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Sunday overturned Delhi government’s order that suspended operations of domestic flights at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced a total lockdown in the national capital in wake of the coronavirus outbreak. “All domestic/international flights arriving in Delhi during this period shall be suspended,” the state government’s order that was announced at around 6:30 PM on Sunday said.
Delhi Airport will work
However, shortly afterwards, the spokesperson for the Central Civil Aviation Ministry informed that the airport will continue to operate. “Domestic flights to and from IGI Airport, Delhi shall continue to operate and the airport shall remain functional,” the spokesperson said.
As per reports, civil aviation is a Central subject and therefore the DGCA had the power to deem Delhi government’s order as null. The state government has the power to prohibit entry into the region via road though.
“The subject falls under the central government (aviation ministry), and they have decided that all domestic flights to and from IGIA Delhi shall continue to operate and the airport shall remain functional,” DGCA Chief Arun Kumar was quoted as saying by Indian Express.
On the other hand officials in Delhi government said that the decision was taken keeping Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal in the loop. “He is the representative of the Centre. He signed the order and was present at the press conference. Our order is very clear. We do not think flights should be allowed to function. We have to go into complete lockdown,” Indian Express quoted a senior government official as saying.