Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Mixed report card of Indian skies: 7 serious near misses till Oct 2018, up from 5 in 2017

New Delhi: There is a rising incidence of planes getting too close for comfort in the crowded skies of India. The number of serious nature of near misses or ‘airprox’ has already touched seven by October this year, up from five in all of 2017, according to DGCA data released on Wednesday. In 2015 and 2016, the incidents of serious air misses stood at seven and eight respectively.
The International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO) has classified airprox into four categories: A is the highest level with a serious risk of aircraft involved in the nearness colliding. It is followed by B level, where the safety of aircraft may have been compromised. These two are the most serious airprox. Then come level C and D, which denote no risk of collision and risk not determined, respectively.
“The combined number of level A and B airprox this year up to October is seven. In all of 2017, 2016 and 2015, the number of A and B level airprox was five, eight and seven, respectively. All the authorities and agencies concerned are taking the required steps to keep our skies safe,” said a senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
Similarly, DGCA data released on Wednesday shows that serious incidents measured in terms of per 10,000 departures has risen in 2018 (till October) as compared to all of last five years except 2015. This number of serious incidents per 10,000 departures in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 was 0.11, 0.14, 0.06, 0.12 and 0.12. However, in January-October 2018 this number touched 0.15.
Similarly, the “wildlife strike rate per 10,000 (aircraft) movement” in January-October 2018 was 4.84. From 2013 to 2017, this figure was at 5.64, 4.98, 4.72, 4.56 and 4.71 respectively. “Regular joint inspection of area around airports is carried out by joint of officials of DGCA, airlines and other stakeholders. Issue is regularly taken up with chief secretaries of states,” said the official.

Apart from rising incidence of serious airprox and serious incidents per 10,000 departures, DGCA data shows some aviation risks abating. For instance, “India’s accident rate per million departures” had been higher than global average from 2014 to mid-2016. Since 2017 and in the January-October 2018 period it is below the world average. The “incident per 10,000 departure” has been falling constantly since 2013, a trend which has continued in January-October 2018 as well.

In January-October 2018, the “Breath Analyzer violations per 10,000 (flight) departures” was 2.01. In 2015-2017, the figure was 2.57, 2.44 and 2.46, respectively.
05/12/18 Saurabh Sihna/Times of India

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