Landing and taking off in Indian airports are found unsafe

Editorial — By on July 8, 2010 at 10:28 am

Despite various fleet upgrade programmes, several old aircrafts are still flying in Indian skies – some well over 20 years old.

When an Indian Airlines Boeing crashed at Patna on17th July 2000, there was a huge uproar demanding even from the pilots for immediate grounding of the‘Flying Coffins’ ,who were wary of using an aircraft that was over 20 years old.

Ultimately, the probe into the crash identified ‘piloterror’ as the primary cause behind the crash. But that does not make the old and outdated aircrafts any less dangerous for civilians to travel in.

Lack of funds has hampered the modernisation of airports around the country. Many pilots have also complained about old airports and the infrastructure saying, “We have been risking our life on a daily basis by landing and taking off from certain airports.”

In the recent Mangalore crash, the airport infrastructure was also touted as one of the major factors behind the crash. Our Aviation Ministry, DGCA and the other concerned persons should take extracare of airports as better infrastructure will reduce chances of mishaps.

In the past we have seen many air crashes that happened due to miscommunication between the pilot and the ground staff.

For instance, in the 1996 crash of a Saudi jumbo jet over Delhi, a judicial inquiry concluded that Indian air traffic controllers lacked sufficient training in modern handling procedures, making it difficult to cope with the sharp rise in traffic. Even modern airports like Delhi were still using outdated airport surveillance radar equipment. Mangalore airport doesn’t have an approach radar to assist the airtraffic control to warn a pilot about altitude, speed and glide path.

At any cost immediate attention of the concerned authorities has become an urgent priority. Politics should not try toplay games in this issue .inefficient air staff may be kept away. Modern Infrastructure are to be installed in aircrafts and airports. All airports in India are to be modernised immediately. Ground staff is to be imparted all technical know-how and proper and regular training.

H.V.D.PRASAD

EXECUTIVE EDITOR

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