SC stays Meghalaya HC order directing private airlines to begin flight operations from Umroi airport

The Supreme Court Thursday stayed the Meghalaya High Court order that had directed commercial airlines like Indigo and Spicejet to immediately begin flight operations from Umroi airport in the northeast state.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took note of the submissions of senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Indigo airlines that there were no fire fighting and other facilities available at Umroi airport and flight operations cannot be started immediately.

“The high court order shall remain stayed,” the bench which also comprised Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph said.

The apex court had on Wednesday agreed to give urgent hearing to the plea of private airlines challenging the high court order asking it to start flight operations form the Umroi Airport, 30 km from the Meghalaya capital Shillong.

The apex court was told that the high court on its own had last week taken up the matter and asked the Director General of Civil Aviation, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airport Authority of India (AAI) Chairman to hold a meeting within a week on the issue of making the airport operational.

The court was told that the airport was not ready for landing of big aircraft and does not have fire-fighting facilities.

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