A SpiceJet commercial flight took off from Rajkot, Gujarat, without the Air Traffic Controller (ATC) required clearance. The Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered an investigation into the matter.
The pilots of the Rajkot-Delhi flight have been removed from the roster while the Directorate General of Civil Aviation conducts the investigation. The event occurred on December 30, 2021, according to an ANI report citing the Rajkot airport director.
“The airline pilots failed to obtain the necessary take-off authorization from ATC Rajkot,” according to Rajkot airport director. “A comprehensive report has been submitted to the Airports Authority of India headquarters and the DGCA,” he added.
SpiceJet SG-3703 airline was on time for the take-off to Delhi, as per its flight schedule. But, ATC noticed that the pilots flew without obtaining the required take-off approval.
Take-off authorization from ATC is a must for flying
According to the Times of India, a pilot stated that the probe would decide how the lapse occurred and who was responsible for the incident. “Was it a misunderstanding, an error, or something else?” The source cited that this must be considered a once-in-a-lifetime event that cannot be replicated.
“Through its communication, the Rajkot ATC asked the pilots how they flew without take-off permission… In response, the pilots apologized and said it was a mistake. The conversation took place when the airline took off,” the news agency quoted a senior official of the Airport Authority of India saying.
According to Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), all aircraft must obtain mandatory take-off authorization from ATC before taking off, regardless of whether the runway is secured or any other aircraft not arriving for an emergency.
SOP has detailed steps listed for the purpose. The airline must first obtain clearance to push back from the aircraft stand. Then, before starting the engines, the pilots must obtain permission. It must then obtain permission to stand in the line-up, and finally, will get the authorization to take off.
An investigation is in progress to decide the reason for the lapse, and based on DGCA’s investigation report, appropriate action will be taken against anyone found to be negligent, according to the DGCA Director-General Arun Kumar.