Monday, August 10, 2020

DGCA suspends wide-bodied flights from Karipur airport

Kozhikode: The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended the operation of wide-bodied flights from Karipur international airport after an Air India Express flight crashed here late on Friday. It is not clear whether the suspension of flights is a temporary measure in view of the ongoing air crash investigation or will it impact the operation of jumbo flights from the airport in the long run.
DGCA had barred operation of wide-bodied aircraft (Code E) at the airport in May 2015 citing runway safety concerns and the permission was reinstated three years later in 2018 after Airports Authority of India (AAI) undertook mitigation measures including strengthening of runway and increasing runway end safety area (RESA) along with safety assessments done by airlines.
Sources said that Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), on Sunday, rescheduled its A-330 flight from Karipur to Kochi airport based on the directives from civil aviation authorities. Saudia was granted permission to operate jumbo flights in August 2018 for a three-year period and later AI, Emirates and recently Qatar Airways were granted NOC for wide-bodied flight operations.

DGCA had specified a number of conditions for resumption of Code-E aircraft services and had stated that NOC will be reviewed after three years. The permission granted to Saudia was to operate Airbus 330-300 and Boeing 777-200 range aircraft and NOC had also imposed restrictions for operations of jumbo flights during night for the first six months.
As a safety measure, AAI was told to carry out runway friction test periodically by AAI. Later, while granting NOC for Emirates for operating in July 2019, DGCA had stipulated that wide-bodied aircraft should not be operated when the visibility is less than 2,000m.
10/08/20 Times of India
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