After incidents of Indian airlines failing to make radio communication in European airspace, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has today issued fresh guidelines. Following two recent instance of communication failure by Jet airways and Air India aircraft, the DGCA in its guidelines has stated that the speaker volume should be maintained at an appropriate level and not switched off or kept at a minimum level.
Days back, a major mishap was feared by aviation authorities today after a London-bound Air India (AI) aircraft from Ahmedabad lost contact with the Air Traffic Control (ATC) while flying over Hungary. The aircraft, which took off from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai at 7 am, suddenly lost all contact with ATC while it was flying over this European country. Alive to the situation, authorities quickly scrambled fighter jets to locate the plane physically through eye-sight. Much to the relief of all concerned the Air India jet was located safely flying in the scheduled area – thereafter, the flight landed safely at London’s Heathrow Airport at 11:05 am. There were as many as 249 people on board (231 passengers and 18 crew members). The reason behind the scare was due to a technical glitch that an Air India spokesperson termed as ‘frequency fluctuations’.
In a similar incident on February 20, Jet Airways Boeing-777 flight was caught in an alleged hijack drama after it lost contact with the authorities on the ground for a brief period of time that created panic and caused authorities to scramble jet fighters to locate and escort the aircraft. Following a communication failure, when it was unable to establish contact with the Indian aircraft, Cologne air traffic control officials alerted the German Air Force, which in turn scrambled two fighter jets. The Jet Airways flight 9W-118, which left on Thursday (the incident happened three days back), was going from Mumbai to London and was flying over Cologne city in Germany. German Air Force fighters first located the plane and thereafter escorted the Jet Airways flight till the flight managed to establish contact with the ATC.