Aviation regulator DGCA said Thursday it has started a special audit of all airlines and airports in monsoon-affected areas in the wake of multiple landing incidents across India.
The action comes even as the main runway at the Mumbai airport remains shut after a SpiceJet plane from Jaipur veered off it when landing amid heavy rainfall on Monday night and got stuck in the adjacent grass area.
“In view of the recent incidents of runway excursion/tail strikes at Mumbai, Kolkata, Mangalore and Surat airports, DGCA issued advisory circular (on Tuesday) to all the airlines re-emphasising the safety aspects of flying during monsoon season,” the regulator said in a statement.
“In continuation of its safety-first policy, DGCA has started special audit of all scheduled airlines and aerodromes in monsoon-affected areas,” it added.
Regarding Mumbai airport’s condition, the DGCA said, “Friction test report of Mumbai runway 09-27 (main) have been received and found satisfactory. Mumbai runway 14-32 (secondary) friction test is currently under way in wet runaway conditions.”
Friction test measures the runway’s friction so that an aircraft does not overshoot it when landing in adverse weather conditions.
According to the regulator, the aforesaid special audit lays emphasis on pilot licence training and flight schedules of crew to address the fatigue.
“In the area of aerodromes, runway conditions, runway lights and markings, navigation facilities and water drainage capacity are being checked,” the DGCA said.
The regulator also said it has initiated punitive action against 12 “erring personnel” for non-compliance.
On June 30, a SpiceJet plane from Bhopal veered off the runway at Surat airport due to heavy rainfall and wind.
On July 2, another SpiceJet plane veered off its path on the runway when landing at Kolkata airport, damaging four runway lights. On the same day, an Air India Express flight coming from Dammam had a tail strike while landing at Calicut airport.
Another Air India Express flight veered off the taxiway after landing and got stuck in soft ground at the Mangalore airport on June 30. On the same day, a GoAir flight coming from Bengaluru had a tail strike when landing at Ranchi airport.