A major mishap was averted at Bengaluru’s Internationa Airport on Friday after a SpiceJet aircraft damaged three runway lights. SpiceJet aircraft S 1238 en route from Hyderabad to Bengaluru hit runway lights at Kempegowda International Airport after landing. Following the incident, the runway was shut for almost 40 minutes. An official from Bengaluru International Airport Ltd (BIAL) said: “SpiceJet aircraft SG 1238 from Hyderabad after landing and taxiing damage three runway lights, due to which runway was closed from 10.47 p.m. to 11.28 p.m (on late Friday night).”
No reports of casualties or damage to the plane have been reported. During the 40 minute closure of the runway, ten flights were diverted from the airport — eight to Chennai, one each to Tiruchirapalli and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.
Accidents related to aircraft have been on the rise in the recent past. Recently fleet of Indigo’s A320neo aircraft was grounded after it was alleged to have defective engines. However, the Delhi High Court on Friday refused to ground the entire fleet.
Advocate Yeshwanth Shenoy’s said in his plea that IndiGo’s A320neo fleet should be grounded until the manufacturers give in writing that the existing defects have been rectified and the DGCA is satisfied. “Your (petitioner) first prayer seeking direction to Directorate General of Civil Aviation to ground the entire fleet of Airbus A320neo cannot be granted,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said.
It, however, said Shenoy’s plea seeking various other directions to the authorities, including an order to ensure that all accidents are published on DGCA’s website within 24 hours of its occurrence, shall be heard on March 20. Aviation watchdog DGCA had on March 12 ordered IndiGo and GoAir to immediately ground 11 A320neo planes powered with a certain series of Pratt & Whitney engines after three incidents of mid-air engine failures in less than a month.
Concerns over the safety of such planes increased with another engine failure, forcing an emergency landing of an IndiGo flight at Ahmedabad airport on March 12, and the regulator cracked the whip saying that there is no concrete proposal in place at this stage to address the issue.
A total of 14 A320 neo aircraft fitted with a specific series of engines — 11 are operated by IndiGo and three by GoAir — have now been grounded. Three IndiGo planes are already on the ground following the problem.