India's aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has imposed a fine of Rs 20 lakh on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata, for not adhering to the safety norms of runway maintenance. DGCA was conducting an audit of the airport for the past few months, which revealed some severe slip-ups in Kolkata airport. The authority blames the airport for being 'negligent' in maintaining the runway in the airport.
"After the regulator started safety auditing for airports a few months back, the audit report found that NSCBIA has committed serious safety norms violations, especially on the runway maintenance work. It has been decided to impose a fine of ₹20 lakh," said a senior DGCA official.
According to DGCA, the airport has not fixed the runway lights and reported Foreign Object Debris (FOB). This could cause safety issues for aircraft during take-offs and landings. DGCA issued a show-cause notice to Kolkata airport requesting the authority to provide required explanations for such safety violations. After examining the responses from the Kolkata authority, the administration imposed a fine of Rs 20 lakhs. Rs 20 lakhs penalty could be the steepest penalty imposed to date by the regulator.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal government has decided to construct a second airport near Kolkata airport to decongest the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport. The state government is scouting for lands in the South 24 Parganas district for the purpose.
Star Air gets Rs 5 lakh fine for not properly closing an aircraft panel
DGCA has also fined the passenger airline Star Air for not closing aircraft panel properly before departure. The panel fell off at the time of landing. The airline is also blamed for deficiencies in flight operations quality assurance monitoring. Moreover, Star Air also used the human resources of an internationally-approved training centre beyond the agreed period.
According to Star Air, the non-compliances blamed on the airline are minor. On a scale of 10, DGCA rated the severity level of lapses as '3'. Besides, the airline has decided to exercise its rights to appeal against the violations charged.