The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has ordered that if a flight does not take off within five minutes of receiving permission from the Air Traffic Control tower, it will be moved to the end of the queue and be allowed to depart only when a slot is available. “Approval for push back and start up shall be valid for five minutes only,” read the DGCA order issued on September 27.

The new instructions have been issued to all scheduled airlines and airport operators in the country. Airlines that do not adhere to the directive will “lose their historicity” when the schedule is prepared for the next season, meaning they will have a poor track record making it difficult to get preferred time slots for departure.

The DGCA also wants airports to ensure that take off slots are “distributed evenly within an hour with not more than five departure slots in 10 minutes and total of 30 per hour”.