AirAsia India head of operations, air security lead suspended over security norms

MUMBAI: Two AirAsia India top officials, Capt Manish Uppal, head of operations and Capt Mukesh Neema, head of air security have been suspended for a interval of three months by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for alleged security violations.
Director General of Civil Aviation, Arun Kumar confirmed the event. Under the regulator’s norms, appointments to essential posts like airline-head of airsafety, head of operations are cleared by the DGCA.
AirAsia India had come beneath the DGCA scanner in June after considered one of its pilots, Captain Gaurav Taneja, posted a 27 minute video on his YouTube channel (Flying Beast), alleging that the airline had been violating sure security norms as a way to lower gas prices. In a tweet, he alleged that he was positioned beneath suspension by AirAsia India “for standing up for secure operations of plane and its passengers”.
The tweet went viral, following which the DGCA started a probe into the allegations and later in June, issued a present trigger discover to Capt Uppal, Capt Neema and the CEO of the airline. Meanwhile, on June 26, Capt Taneja was terminated by the airline. “He was terminated following an inquiry carried out by officers, together with Capt Neema, the very particular person towards whom Capt Taneja had made allegations,’’ stated advocate Yeshwant Shenoy, considered one of Capt Taneja’s legal professionals.
AirAsia India spokesperson was not reachable for remark.
“Pilots are all the time afraid to boost points, particularly in these instances of job insecurities as a result of COVID pandemic’s impression on the airline business. I’ve all the time been telling them that in the event that they arise for security violations, it must be addressed by the system. This is the perfect instance of that,” stated Shenoy.
Speaking concerning the current Air India Express Calicut crash that killed 18folks final week, Advocate Shenoy added: “Had pilots stood up for issues of safety, Calicut might actually have been prevented. There could be many extra to come back.”
Capt Taneja’s spokesperson stated that the DGCA had suspended Capt Uppal and Capt Neema over security violations flagged by him.
A former IIT-Kharagpur graduate, Capt Taneja, an A320 commander had joined AirAsia India in May 2019 (he was employed with one other airline earlier than that). In his YouTube video, he stated that the airline was following sure practices which he discovered to be detrimental to flight security. He raised such issues of safety repeatedly on the airline’s official whtsapp group for its pilots and later with higher-ups.
In his youtube clip titled titled “Reason behind suspension from my pilot job” , he spoke about two unsafe practices. He alleged that in AirAsia India, pilots who availed of a sick depart needed to forgo the weekly depart that adopted. “The coverage discouraged pilots from calling in sick when they’re unfit to fly, particularly if they’d made plans for the day when their weekly off was scheduled,” he stated.
The second safety-related challenge was about “flap 3” mode landings, which saved about eight kgs of gas per touchdown. AirAsia India pilots needed to meet a goal of 98% flap Three landings, he alleged. The different possibility, touchdown in full flap mode ends in increased gas burn as a result of elevated drag. But on quick runways or say, in tailwind situations, a full flap touchdown is the safer possibility. Capt Taneja stated that on runways like Imphal, a flap Three touchdown in tailwind situation is unsafe.

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