Parliamentary panel asks govt to change code ‘GAY’ for Gaya airport

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The Parliamentary Committee on Public Undertaking has asked the government to change the code ‘GAY’ for the ‘Gaya International Airport.

In its action taken report tabled in Parliament on Friday, the panel mentioned the issue and asked the government to make all efforts to take up the matter with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and concerned organisations as this issue pertains to inappropriate code naming of an airport of a holy city of India.

The Committee also said that the use of ‘GAY’ code for Gaya airport is inappropriate for the holy city, therefore the government should try to replace this code with an appropriate one and also suggested an alternative code such as ‘YAG’.

According to officials in the Civil Aviation Ministry, the IATA, the trade association of world’s airlines, has expressed its inability to change the code without a “justifiable reason primarily related to air safety”.

The IATA also stated that as per Resolution 763, the location codes allotted are permanent and to change this a strong justification primarily concerning air safety is needed.

As per the aviation norms, the IATA allots station code for airports.

“The GAY code for Gaya has been in use since the operationalisation of this airport, therefore, without any justifiable reason primarily concerning air safety, IATA has expressed its inability to change the code of Gaya airport,” the ministry told the panel which was duly mentioned in the panel’s report tabled on Friday.

“The Committee appreciates the efforts of Air India being a member airline of IATA to take up the request with the international air transport association but, yet, re-emphasise the government to make all effort to take up the matter with the IATA…,” the action taken report said.

In the first report of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Undertaking tabled in Parliament in January last year, the panel had mentioned that it was apprised about a request received by the Civil Aviation Ministry regarding the change of the code name of Gaya airport. The panel had also recommended that the Ministry and Air India complete all the requisite consultations and formalities in a time-bound manner to change the code name of the Gaya airport.

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