Air security watchdog to test airports hit by heavy rain after crash

NEW DELHI: Air security regulator plans to conduct particular audits of airports throughout the nation affected by heavy rain, the watchdog’s chief informed Reuters, days after an air crash killed 18 folks and raised questions on security.
An Air India Express aircraft with 190 folks on board, overshot the rain-soaked runway at an airport close to the southern metropolis of Kozhikode on Friday. The Boeing 737 landed in tailwind, skid off the runway and broke in half.
“We will conduct further checks at main, busy airports throughout India which are affected by the monsoon rains,” Arun Kumar, head of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) mentioned in an interview late on Monday.
“We will evaluation every little thing – the situation of the runway, its incline, the lighting in addition to drainage.”
Kumar mentioned the particular audit was over and above the DGCA’s routine checks and will cowl a dozen airports together with these in Chennai, Kochi, Trivandrum in addition to Mumbai, all of which get heavy annual rains.
Air India Express is the low value arm of state service Air India. The flight was repatriating Indians stranded in Dubai as a result of novel coronavirus pandemic. The black packing containers have been recovered and their information is being examined.
India’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau is main the probe into the crash. Boeing and the US National Transportation Safety Board are additionally participating within the effort, Kumar mentioned.
“Once the findings are finalised, and if one thing is amiss we’ll take motion to rectify it,” he mentioned.
The crash was the worst in India in a decade, and the second deadly accident on a “table-top” runway which is often present in high-altitude areas.
Table-top runways are constructed by excavating the peaks of hills and have steep drops at one or each ends, growing the hazard if pilots under- or over-shoot their strategy.
At Calicut airport, the place the aircraft crashed on Friday, the pilot landed a 3rd of the best way alongside the runway, Kumar mentioned on Sunday, leaving much less room to deliver the aircraft to a halt.
Airports with table-top runways are topic to the identical rigorous regulatory necessities and are periodically audited for security, Kumar mentioned.
In 2010, an Air India Express aircraft overshot an identical runway within the southern metropolis of Mangalore. It fell down a hillside and burst into flames, killing 158 folks.
A government-led committee trying into that crash had advised putting in an Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) on table-top airports. EMAS is a particular floor often put in on the finish of the runway to rapidly cease an plane.
However, a second committee advised that if the runway safety area was elevated at Calicut airport, the EMAS wouldn’t be wanted, Kumar mentioned.
Subsequently, the runway security space was elevated to 240 metres, greater than the 90 metres prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, he mentioned.

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