Friday, February 03, 2017

Directorate General of Civil Aviation suspends two Delhi airport electrical engineers for keeping lights on of wrong taxiway

NEW DELHI: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended two electrical engineers of Delhi Airport for keeping lights of a taxiway that was not in use, due to which an aircraft wrongly entered that bay while it was not supposed to. The regulator found this as a major cause of the February 1st incident at IGI Airport when an IndiGo aircraft wrongly entered a taxiway where a Jet Airways aircraft was already parked and then an alarmed air traffic control had to tell the IndiGo pilots to screech the brakes to avoid colliding with the other plane.

"The distance between the IndiGo and Jet aircraft was much less than 30 metres. The IndiGo pilots and electrical engineers of Delhi Airport were found responsible for this episode. The electrical engineers kept lights on of a taxiway that was not supposed to be used due to which the pilots entered the wrong taxiway. But the pilots by doing so entered the runway and they should have looked to their left and right also to see what they were doing," said a senior DGCA official.

The regulator has grounded the IndiGo pilots and suspended the two engineers of Delhi Airport. "On January 30, a GoAir pilot had raised a hazard report to the airport and to us about lights being on at the wrong taxiway. Despite this the same mistake was repeated that led to the issue on February 1," said the official.

Since December 27, the IGI Airport has seen two averted collisions on ground. The first incident was when an IndiGo and a SpiceJet plane came face to face. The regulator is fuming as in low visibility periods like the ongoing foggy winter, runway lights are a vital guide to safe aircraft movement on ground and keeping lights on or of where they are not required could lead to a major accident.