1. After SpiceJet and GoAir tragedy averted, airlines in India warned on use of foreign pilots

After SpiceJet and GoAir tragedy averted, airlines in India warned on use of foreign pilots

An instruction has been issued that unless and until the foreign pilots are 'thoroughly briefed' about the approach procedures of Indian defence airfields, Indian carriers should not roster them on defence airfields.

By: | Updated: March 3, 2017 12:00 PM
An instruction has been issued that unless and until the foreign pilots are ‘thoroughly briefed’ about the approach procedures of Indian defence airfields, Indian carriers should not roster them on defence airfields. (PTI)

An instruction has been issued that unless and until the foreign pilots are ‘thoroughly briefed’ about the approach procedures of Indian defence airfields, Indian carriers should not roster them on defence airfields. According to the Indian Express, this comes in the wake of the Goa incident when an investigation on October 22 into the near-miss incident between a SpiceJet and GoAir aircraft in Goa found that the foreign crew of the GoAir flight failed to correctly understand instructions given by Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs). The pilot was confused over the ATC instructions given to him despite standard radiotelephony phraseology being used by the traffic controllers as per ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) standards. As per an official, till all foreign crew have been specifically briefed about operating procedures, GoAir and other airlines have now been directed not to operate wet-lease aircraft to defence airfields.

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Till September 30, 2016 as many as 284 foreign pilots were employed by domestic aviation companies. The Goa incident triggered the traffic collision avoidance systems (TCAS) of the two aircraft and forced their pilots to take corrective measures to avoid a potential collision. Due to growth in aviation industry and induction of new aircraft in the fleet of the airlines in the country, there is a shortage of type-rated commanders and so foreign pilots are hired to counter the shortage.

Airprox Investigation Board constituted by the DGCA investigates Air-miss incidents which are reviewed at DGCA headquarters for completeness and implementation of recommendations emanating from the investigations. Under DGCA rules, the “Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum” operations permitted by the aviation regulator in the Indian airspace allows aircraft to fly with a minimum vertical separation of 1,000 feet. A breach in this separation sets off the TCAS of the aircraft.

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