DGCA removes Air India’s chief of safety

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New Delhi | Published: August 1, 2015 12:35:32 AM

A S Soman failed to provide sufficient details after a flight bounced off the runway while making a landing attempt

Aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday issued a notice for the removal of Air India’s chief of safety A S Soman with immediate effect, on charges of jeopardising passengers’ safety. The action was taken by the regulator after Soman failed to provide sufficient details after a Bengaluru-Hyderabad flight touched and bounced off the runway while making a landing attempt, said a senior DGCA official.

As reported by FE earlier, Soman was given a showcause notice by the DGCA, when a passenger had complained about the incident. The regulator started probe into the matter — only to realise Air India did not have digital flight data recording (DFDR), which furnishes all details of the flight, including temperature, take-off and landing details, cabin pressure, and weather report.

The DGCA official said that it is mandatory for all airline companies to retain DFDR for all its flights for at least six months. When Air India failed to give the details, the maintenance officer on duty was also suspended.

On further questioning, Soman said that recordings are carried out by the engineering department of Air India, which has been unsuccessful in providing with the required details. Soman in a reply to the DGCA’s query said that the matter was taken up immediately with the engineering department, but he is yet to get the details for the department. On this, the DGCA took the action.

“They have to show us all compliance mentioned in the regulations provided by the DGCA. They (AI) could not provide us with anything,” said the official.

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