Airports in India lack norms compliance, liable to accidents: Experts

Mukesh Ranjan
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 9

Sector consultants say airstrips at a number of airports within the nation, together with Patna and Jammu, have didn’t adjust to security norms—a growth that comes as authorities now analyse what led to the accident at Kozhikode that killed 18 folks, together with pilots.  

Air security skilled Capt Mohan Ranganathan advised the Tribune that lots of the airports together with Calicut (Kozhikode) Jammu and Patna are “safe only on paper” as a result of audits performed don’t meet established nationwide and worldwide norms.

“I had warned authorities in 2011 that the runaway at Kozhikode airport is unsafe and needed to be re-evaluated, especially in wet conditions during the rainy season. Audits are mostly done on paper. Several times safety issues are flagged and the DGCA might have issued show-cause notices, but they are never followed up and no action has been taken for non-compliance,” Rangnathan mentioned.

In the cases of non-compliance of the security norms, authorities ought to take motion to the extent of shutting down of airports or no less than suspending operation until the norms are met, Rangnathan mentioned, insisting that solely in such conditions will airports get up and do one thing.

“But, if you just do these things on paper, nothing will happen,” he mentioned.

People concerned within the processes must be made accountable, as he mentioned, including: “I have on several occasions pointed out to the chairman of Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council (CASAC) and other authorities that the Runway 10 of the Kozhikode airport could be risky for landing in tailwind conditions in rain”.

Lawyer and aviation security activist Yashwanth Shenoy put the blame on aviation regulator DGCA, saying that it understood little of the sector’s wants.  

“The biggest threat to the aviation sector is the DGCA itself, as it is the biggest violator of the norms. The DGCA is headed by an IAS officer, who knows nothing about aviation. Nowhere in the world are administrators appointed as civil aviation regulator,” he mentioned.

What’s essential now, he says, is to do what might be performed to stop such incidents.

 “I believe that Calicut airport is done and dusted. The question is can we prevent Calicut from happening again,” he mentioned. And what’s going to that take? “All we need to comply with the existing air regulation norms,” he says.

A former DGCA official mentioned airports should observe security requirements set by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation).

“There are standard procedures for the rainy season and it is there in the flight manual requiring simulator training of pilots before every rainy season,” he mentioned.

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