The plea has alleged that despite being aware of "significant technical issues with Airbus A320 Neo", neither the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA) nor the DGCA have taken any concrete steps to ground these aircraft.
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought responses of the Centre, aviation regulator DGCA, Indigo and GoAir on a plea seeking grounding of A320neo aircraft with faulty engines. A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA), Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Indigo and GoAir on a petition that contended the entire fleet of A320neo aircraft should be grounded “in larger interest of public safety”.
The plea, filed by a Chennai-based association of passengers, has alleged that despite being aware of “significant technical issues with Airbus A320 Neo”, neither the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA) nor the DGCA have taken any concrete steps to ground these aircraft. Instead, the MCA and the DGCA have only issued notices extending the timelines for carrying out the repairs or engine modifications by the airlines concerned, it has said.
“It is submitted that respondent 1 (MCA) and 2 (DGCA) have repeatedly extended the timelines for modified versions of the Pratt and Whitney engines to be installed, instead of grounding the entire fleet of A320 Neo aircraft,” the petition has said. It has also contended that despite repeated incidents of mid-air engine faults or problems in these aircraft, the aviation regulator has still not grounded the aircraft, which number more than 130 in India.
The petitioner has sought quashing of the notices which have extended the timeline for engine repair or modification to May 31. It has also sought grounding of entire fleet of A320 Neo aircraft having faulty engines.
Apart from that, it has sought directions to the ministry and the aviation regulator to frame regulations to prevent situations of aircraft with faulty engines flying in the skies and for imposing sanctions on erring airlines.