Sunday, November 03, 2019

Experts question DGCA over Jan-end deadline to IndiGo, GoAir

Passengers and experts have questioned the decision by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to give IndiGo and GoAir time until January 31, 2020, to replace unmodified engines for its A320neo fleet.
 On October 26, DGCA had taken note of engine failures reported on A320neo fleet on four consecutive days and directed both the airlines to replace engines in operation for more than 2,900 hours with a Low Pressure Turbine (LPT) modified engine.
The directive was to replace at least one of the two engines in 16 aircraft for Indigo and 13 for GoAir by November 19. On November 1, the regulator changed its directive and asked IndiGo to change both the engines to LPT modified engines in all its 97 A320neo aircraft by January 31, 2020.
GoAir has 36 A320neos in its fleet. "In case it's not done, such aircraft shall not be allowed to fly with unmodified engines. You may like to stagger or defer your future induction plan and procure sufficient number of modified engines to keep the existing fleet in operation," said the DGCA directive.
 "If the A320neos are not safe, why is the DGCA not grounding these aircraft? It is like the DGCA telling passengers you have 90 days to die in a crash," said Ravi Nair, a 54-year-old consultant who had a frightening experience during a Cochin-Mumbai flight in 2018.
 Aviation safety expert Capt Mohan Ranganathan said, "After a series of failures reported on IndiGo and Spicejet in July, DGCA had served them show-cause notices. With repeat episodes in October, what has the regulator been doing?" He said either DGCA should ground the aircraft or engage pilots-in-command with not less than 2,000 hours.
 03/11/19 Satish Nandgaonkar/Mumbai Mirror
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