It’s time to ensure safer skies

This article highlights the loopholes and legs in following the norms and standards of rules in the Air runway operations.

Why in News?

There are multiple incidents that took place of Plane crashes across the globe. That raises concern of how India is adhering and following the norms of the International Civil Aviation Authority.

What is the Historic Lapse?

A Karnataka based NGO, in 1997 filed a PIL in Karnataka High Court regarding ignoring the safety rules in second runway in Mangalore airport. However, the PIL was not entertaine. Supreme Court also gave the same reaction by rejecting the PIL.

What is the issue?

Actually, the second runway in Mangalore airport would not follow the standard norms of the ICAA. The norms are related to emergencies, and particularly to the landing and take-offs. The Courts both High Court and Supreme Court, rejected the PIL. However, the Supreme Court issued guidelines to the government to follow all applicable standard norms including environmental laws.

What are the lessons learned?

The tragic incident of 22 May, 2010, in which 158 lives lossed life, reflect how these laws have complied. The aircraft overshot the runway, plunged down the hillside and burst into flames. In that accident, nobody blamed the real cause which was ignoring the rules.

The Aircraft was too high and fast, also the touchdown was late. That results crash of AIE aircraft essentially because of illegal concrete structure. However, the International Civil Aviation Organization set January 1, 2010, as deadline to ensure that all localisers are frangible.

What is the government initiative?

The Civil Aviation Ministry constituted the Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council (CASAC) after the tragic Mangalore crash. The CASAC pointed out the failure of the court of inquiry report. It said that report ignore the serious errors and not take corrective steps. An inspection of Calicut showed shocking deficiencies. Various warning notices sent to the Ministry and DGCA, but all were ignored.

Any new loss?

On 7 August 2020, another accident took place, in which 21 lives were lost. The following AAIB report pointed out several deficiencies. The accident due to same reasons reflect serious deficiencies in training, problems with safety audits and corrective steps. This reflects lack of transparency and accountability.

What is the current status of safety standards?

Still the number of Airline professionals lag in knowing the critical stations such as cockpit, ATC and engineering. That results lower safety standards in India. Also, there is a failure in proper auditing methods used by the DGCA. Hence, all we need to do, is upgrading the standards and norms, with frequent intervansion of Courts.