The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Wednesday warned airlines of punitive action if they land their aircraft with “unstabilised approach” during adverse weather conditions, PTI reported. The warning came a day after the DGCA issued safety precautions for aircraft operations during the monsoon season.
According to the International Air Transport Association, a “stabilised approach” is one in which key parameters such as attitude, flight path trajectory, speed, rate of descent and engine thrust are controlled to within specified ranges until touchdown. When a pilot feels the approach is unstabilised – that is, one or more of the key parameters are not within the safe range – they may opt for a “go-around” and look for another approach to land.
Multiple incidents have been reported recently of planes overshooting the runway upon landing during the monsoon season.
“We have also instructed heads of flight safety of airlines to include in their safety briefings to pilots, an express instruction to refrain from landing with unstabilised approach while experiencing adverse weather conditions and initiate a go-around,” Director General of Civil Aviation Arun Kumar was quoted as saying by PTI.
He said safety of the passengers cannot be compromised at any cost. “All concerned are requested to strictly comply with the instructions,” he added.
In a circular titled “Monsoon operations” on Tuesday, the DGCA had asked airlines to make available sufficiently experienced crew in the cockpit for adverse weather. The circular said that the crew rosters should consider “fatigue element” too.
“Crew should be well aware of the aircraft limitations and of take-off/landing performance calculations during the adverse weather operations,” the circular stated. It added that airlines should carry out their own “risk assessment” operations amidst such weather.
The DGCA also said that the latest weather conditions, available notice to airmen, or a NOTAM, and available alternatives to ensure safe operations should be taken into account.
On July 1, a SpiceJet plane from Jaipur had overshot the main runway after landing at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport amid heavy rain. Operations are still suspended at the Mumbai airport. This was reported to be the fifth such instance of an Indian airline going off the runway in just 72 hours, according to ThePrint.
On June 30, a SpiceJet plane from Bhopal veered off the runway at Surat airport due to heavy rainfall and wind. On the same day, an Air India Express flight had also veered off the taxiway after landing and got stuck in soft ground at the Mangalore airport.
On April 29, another SpiceJet plane had skidded off the runway while landing at the Shirdi airport in Maharashtra.
An unidentified senior official said that DGCA is investigating the incidents of planes overshooting runways.