Thursday, March 30, 2017

Pilots faked fuel crisis to cut queue

Pilots of at least three Indian flights, including one operated by market leader IndiGo, lied to air traffic controllers about being short on fuel to get priority landing at an airport, according to an investigation by the country's aviation safety regulator.

On Nov 30, pilots of an IndiGo plane told air traffic controllers at Kolkata airport that the jet was running out of fuel and it should be allowed to land, bypassing more than half a dozen aircraft waiting in queue.

An Air India aircraft, ahead of IndiGo, claimed the same after listening to the conversation, while another plane, operated by SpiceJet, also followed suit, the investigation showed.

None of the aircraft ran the risk of an empty tank, and all of them had enough jet fuel to fly to an alternative airport and attempt at least two landings, or to circle around Kolkata for half an hour, an official at the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told reporters in New Delhi, asking not to be identified.

Airport congestion is increasingly becoming a serious issu in India - the fastest-growing major aviation market in the world - as carriers struggle to maintain their on-time performance, a key selling point to low-cost customers.
29/03/17 MenaFN