Tuesday, September 10, 2019

After regulator prod, AAI to procure aircraft recovery kit

Chennai: The city airport may be the fourth largest in the country, but it does not have aircraft recovery kit to extract an aircraft if it gets stranded off the runway. After being pointed out by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) that the airport operator should have an equipment to remove stranded aircraft, Airports Authority of India (AAI) is planning to import such machines.
“A tender will be floated for purchase of the equipment for all major AAI airports by headquarters in Delhi. Major airports do not own the machine because so far it was the responsibility of the airline. The issue came to light after a plane veered off the runway in Mumbai and the runway had to be closed. It took time because they (airlines) too did not have the equipment,” said a senior AAI official.
The official said airlines do not buy such equipment because it was expensive. The equipment is crucial for Chennai because a majority of the flights is handled on the main runway and if it is closed, especially during the evening peak hour, there will be many diversions.
A few years ago, the main runway had to be shut when a small business jet got stranded. The airport was shut for a day. In February 2018, the main runway had to be closed after tyres of a SpiceJet aircraft burst throwing flight operations out of gear.
10/09/19 V Ayyappan/Times of India
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