The civil aviation authority the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued notices to G. Chandramouli and Manoj Gangal, the directors of Chennai and Ahmedabad airports. The notices claimed that the Chennai and Ahmedabad airports failed to maintain a few critical areas of airports as per the prescribed safety standards.
DGCA conducted the inspections of the airports earlier this month following multiple aircraft landing incidents at various airports. The findings in these inspections prompted the authorities to issue show-cause notices to Chennai and Ahmedabad airports. DGCA authorities had found slippery runway surfaces, uncovered drains in the operational areas and presence of large stones on the airstrips during the inspection.
Chennai airport had the inspection on Tuesday and Wednesday (2-3 July 2019), while Ahmedabad had it on Wednesday and Thursday (3-4 July 2019) last week.
The regulatory requirements make it mandatory for airports to conduct friction tests every month. An analysis of the past six months data, from December 2018 to June 2019, showed that the friction values are below the maintenance planning level at Ahmedabad airport, and in few areas, it has dropped below the minimum required level. The airports are directed to take ‘immediate corrective measures’ in such cases, which the Ahmedabad airport has failed to do.
In the Chennai airport too, the lack of minimum friction values is reported. Besides, non-frangible materials were found on the airstrips. Some runway signboards and lighting were also not in position.
The notices, the copy of which is in the custody of PTI, stated that …critical parts of the aerodrome required to conduct safe aircraft operations at both airports are not being maintained in accordance to regulatory requirements.
…local airport management has failed to do timely preventive maintenance leading to this situation, the notice stated.
The directors of both airports must respond to the notices within 15 days.
Among the airlines, SpiceJet received show-cause notice after the three flights of the operator had landing issues. The notice to SpiceJet pointed out that the airline ‘failed to analyze the trends and did not take any remedial action.’