Sunday, October 20, 2019

DGCA probe finds ‘alarming practices’ by airlines

New Delhi: The crackdown on airlines following a spate of accidents and incidents this monsoon — like aircraft overshooting runways and suffering tail strikes on landing — led to the aviation regulator discovering “alarming practices” (in some airlines) that merited tough action.”
The rising trend of incidents started from April and peaked in July with that month alone seeing as many as 11 scares like aircraft overshooting runways while landing.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) then launched a crackdown that included auditing airlines; issuing show cause notices that led to heads of those incharge of operations and pilot training at some carriers being rolled and acting against crew if found to be at fault for the accidents.
This action has now started bearing result with the unchecked accident rate showing a declining trend. August and September, according to DGCA data, have seen six and two incidents, respectively, that required the regulator to take enforcement action.
DGCA data shows the month-wise number of incidents needing such action this year is: January-3; February-8; March-5; April 3; May-4; June-7; July-11; August-6 and September-2. Of these 49 incidents/accidents/serious accidents, SpiceJet accounted for 20; AI Group (AI, AI Express and Alliance Air) and IndiGo for 11 each; Vistara, GoAir and AirAsia India for 2 each and one for Heritage Aviation.
The regulator admits that the crackdown post the sudden spiralling revealed “alarming practices” (in some airlines) and “merited tough action, that was taken.” “We will always be constantly vigilant. We have arrested the worrying spiralling trend of accidents this monsoon and our safety standards are showing definite signs of improvement. Safety cannot and will not be compromised and we will not allow any laxity,” said DGCA chief Arun Kumar.
As a result, the spiralling rate of incidents-accidents — that was seemingly going out of control — has been checked and showing a declining trend since August.
“The spate of accidents and incidents in June and July made us introspect and conduct various safety audits. Some of the practices discovered (during checks) were alarming and merited tough action that was duly taken. We also started fixing responsibility based on credible and indisputable evidence based on flight data after preliminary inquiry,” Arun Kumar said.
20/10/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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