The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to file an affidavit on the safety and airworthiness of the Airbus A320neo planes flying in India, PTI reported. The court will hear the case next on April 13.
The aviation authority has so far grounded 11 A320neo planes that ran on faulty Pratt & Whitney engines. On March 16, the High Court had refused a petition seeking to ground all Airbus A320neo aircraft. Yashwant Shenoy, the petitioner, had claimed that the planes were not allowed in the United States and European airspace as per the European Aviation Safety Agency directives.
On Tuesday, the bench said Shenoy’s plea will be treated as an application, and issued a notice to the DGCA. The High Court said the affidavit, which will be filed according to the Aircraft Rules, should be signed by an officer not below the rank of a joint director of the aviation regulator.
Eight of the 11 aircraft grounded were from IndiGo’s fleet, and three from GoAir’s. The DGCA’s decision to ground the planes on March 13 had come hours after an A320neo aircraft of IndiGo suffered an engine failure mid-air and was forced to make an emergency landing at Ahmedabad airport. The aviation authority has asked IndiGo and GoAir not to refit these engines with spare parts in their inventory.
After the DGCA’s orders, IndiGo and GoAir have cancelled more than 600 flights scheduled till March-end. The cancellations are likely to affect an estimated 1 lakh passengers if the passenger load factor of both these airlines in January is taken into account.