Thursday, July 11, 2019

Calicut Airport gets DGCA notice for 'safety concerns'

New Delhi: Continuing its recently-ordered crackdown on shortcomings at airports and airlines, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday issued a show-cause notice to Calicut airport after an audit last week revealed some “significant safety concerns”. These include “excessive rubber deposits” — something that can be dangerous for safe landings in the heavy rains that Kerala is witnessing by reducing friction — apart from finding cracks and stagnating water on parts of the runway. The regulator has given given 15 days to Airports Authority of India (AAI) to reply to this notice.
An AAI spokesman said: "It's true that DGCA has served a show cause notice based on their findings in the recent inspection. At Calicut airport, runway friction is being maintained at a higher value as per DGCA requirement. We have procured exclusive rubber deposit removal vehicles costing 5.5 crores. The vehicle is being deployed regularly. "

"However we respect the DGCA observation and will correct those small patches where the rubber deposits have been reported. Runway slopes are as per standards and drainage are cleared during pre-monsoon preparedness. However, due to extensive monsoon, there were some erosion and shallow water stagnation on the side strip. It's not on the runway. Corrective actions are planned and we are looking for a dry spell to act. It is assured that the safety aspects are given utmost importance and we recently got our license renewed after ensuring the standard requirements of the regulator."

The notice is learnt to have pointed out more than permitted slope in certain parts of the operational areas and the regulatory team also found cracks at aircraft stand (number 11) apart from a 111-metre-long damaged portion of apron surface. “The digital met display DIWE (distant indication wind equipment) installed for runway (10) is found unserviceable and is under Notam (notice to airmen) for several days which is not in compliance with mitigation measures,” the notice is learnt to point out.
11/07/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India
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