DGCA had issued discover to Kozhikode airport in July 2019 over crucial security lapses

New Delhi, August 8

Aviation regulator DGCA had issued a show-cause discover to the director of the Kozhikode airport on July 11 final 12 months after it discovered “various critical safety lapses”, officers stated on Saturday.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation pointed to cracks on the runway, water stagnation and extreme rubber deposits amongst different lapses in its show-cause discover.

The DGCA carried out the inspection after an Air India Express flight coming from Dammam in Saudi Arabia had a “tail strike” whereas touchdown on the Calicut (Kozhikode) airport on July 2 final 12 months, an official stated.

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A little bit over a 12 months later, on Friday night, an Air India Express flight from Dubai with 190 individuals on board overshot “runway 10” on the Calicut airport in heavy rain and went down 35 toes right into a gorge earlier than breaking into two items, killing a minimum of 18 individuals.

“After the July 2 incident last year, the DGCA inspected the airport on July 4 and July 5 and found various critical safety lapses,” stated a senior DGCA official.

On July 11, Kozhikode airport director Okay Srinivasa Rao was issued a show-cause discover, added one other DGCA official.

However, it’s not clear if any motion was taken in opposition to Rao after the show-cause was issued.

The show-cause discover, which PTI accessed, stated: “Cracks are observed at runway 28 TDZ (touchdown zone) and along runway C/L (centre/left) marking at runway 10 TDZ.”

The landing zone (TDZ) is the half the place the plane first contacts the floor whereas touchdown. The landing zone is forward of the edge space of the runway.

The discover additionally stated “excessive rubber deposit” was noticed within the space from runway C/L marking to a few metres on each the perimeters of landing zone of runway 28.

Similar extreme rubber deposits had been discovered by the DGCA alongside runway C/L marking of landing zone of runway 10, in response to the discover.

“Water stagnation of about 1.5-metre length was observed on the area between runway edge and intermediate turn pad on runway 28,” it stated.

Besides, the DGCA discovered a number of cracks in plane stand quantity 5. It additionally noticed {that a} “portion of Apron surface” of about 111 metres was broken, it stated.

An apron is the world of the airport the place plane are parked, refuelled and the place passengers board.

“A steep downward slope of approximately five feet depth is observed immediately after the apron behind aircraft number 1, which needs to be levelled and graded,” the discover stated.

The DGCA noticed a scarcity of reserve inventory of 6,630 litres of Aqueous Film Forming Foam focus (AFFF) and 140 kg of “DCP complementary agent” — each are used to place out fires — on the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) station of the airport.

Air India Express, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air India, stated on Saturday three aid flights had been organized to Kozhikode in Kerala to help passengers and their members of the family affected by the airplane crash a day in the past.

Officials stated Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri will go to Kozhikode on Saturday.

Officials of the AAIB (Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau), the DGCA and the flight security division of the airline had reached the accident website to research the accident, stated the airline on Saturday morning.

Scheduled worldwide passenger flights stay suspended in India since March 23 as a result of novel coronavirus pandemic.

However, particular repatriation flights have been operated by Air India and Air India Express since May 6 underneath the Vande Bharat Mission to assist stranded individuals attain their locations. Private carriers have additionally operated a sure variety of flights underneath this mission. PTI

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