Tuesday, July 09, 2019

DGCA issues show-cause notices to Ahmedabad, Chennai airports

New Delhi: Not maintaining “critical parts of aerodrome required to conduct safe aircraft operations … in accordance with (rules),” has earned the Ahmedabad and Chennai airports a show-cause notice each from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday. The aviation regulator has told the airport directors of these two airports that “local airport management has failed to do timely preventive maintenance leading to this situation” referring to critical findings of the audit like slippery runway surfaces, uncovered drains in operational area and presence of large loose stones on the airstrip while asking them to submit their replies within 15 days.

The DGCA, which is currently auditing airlines and airports after a spate of incidents in past rainy fortnight, had couple of days back issued four show-cause notices to SpiceJet for “lack of safety management system in the organisation” after three flights of the airline saw back-to-back incidents on landing. Comments from Airports Authority of India (AAI) have been sought and the story will be updated once it does so. Both Ahmedabad and Chennai are key airports handling significant number of hundreds of flights daily.

The Ahmedabad airport saw a DGCA team conducting a special inspection last Wednesday and Thursday (July 3-4). The show cause notice is learnt to have pointed out: “Analysis of six months’ data shows frequency of friction test is not maintained as (per rules) that mandate runway friction test is to be carried out every month. Friction test reports considered for analysis from December 2018 to June 2019 are showing downward trend in friction values below maintenance planning level and at few places, it has gone down to below minimum level.” This despite the fact that rules mandate airport operator to take “immediate corrective action when friction” readings go below required levels.
09/07/29 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India
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