Airports safe only on paper: Experts

Airports safe only on paper: Experts

A former DGCA official says airports need to follow the norms set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. File photo

Mukesh Ranjan

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 9

Shorter runways at...

  • Jammu, Shimla, Kullu, Leh, Patna, Mangalore, Calicut, Aizawl and Agartala

Accusing the government and civil aviation authorities of not having learnt lessons from past mishaps, most recently the Kozhikode airport crash, sector experts say several airstrips, including Jammu and Patna, are prone to accidents.

Air safety expert Capt Mohan Ranganathan told The Tribune many airports are “safe only on paper” as audits are not done as per the national and international norms.

He says: “I had warned the authorities in 2011 that the runway at Kozhikode airport is unsafe and needs to be re-evaluated, especially in wet conditions.”

Lack of compliance

Audits are mostly done on paper. The DGCA issues show-cause notices, but these are seldom followed up. No action is taken for non-compliance. — Capt Mohan Ranganathan, Air Safety Expert

People involved in the processes need to be held accountable. In case of non-compliance of the safety norms, the authorities should shut down such airports or suspend operations till the norms are met, he says, adding only then will such airports wake up and act.

Lawyer and aviation safety activist Yashwanth Shenoy blames the DGCA for the prevailing scenario. “The DGCA is the biggest violator of norms. It has been headed by an IAS officer who knows nothing about aviation. Nowhere in the world are administrators appointed civil aviation regulators.” A former DGCA official says airports need to follow the norms set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

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