Saturday, February 17, 2018

Decision on big planes soon

Kozhikode: Pressure is said to be mounting on the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to resume the operation of wide-bodied aircraft at the Calicut airport after the Airports Authority of India (AAI) gave a favourable report to the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

“We have submitted an assessment report on the safety parameters and we are awaiting a decision in a week,” Airport Director J.T. Radhakrishna told The Hindu on Friday.
He said the DGCA could give approval after examining the report or inspect the tabletop runway and conduct a separate study to verify the safety assessment. Major airlines such as the Emirates, Saudia, and Air India had expressed willingness to operate the modern versions of the Boeing and the Airbus at the airport.

The operation of wide-bodied aircraft was banned from May 2015 in the wake of the Court of Inquiry report on the Air India Express Boeing 737 crash in Mangaluru in May 2010.

The DGCA was under pressure, especially from political leaders, to give approval to the operation of wide-bodied aircraft.

“The runway airstrip is the bone of contention between the DGCA and the AAI. The existing runway airstrip is only 75 m on both sides as against the mandatory requirement of 150 m,” he said.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation that codifies the provisions for international air navigation mandates that the total runway strip for the operation of Code E aircraft at an airport should be 300 m. (A runway strip is the area surrounding the runway to enhance the safety of the aircraft in the event of unintentional excursion.)
17/02/18 The Hindu