Aviation Notes : Near-miss cases on the rise

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Old 18-Jul-2010
Aviation Notes : Near-miss cases on the rise

Even after widening corridors in Delhi and Mumbai, the incidents of near-miss in air have not decreased. Instead, they have been happening at enormous speed. This is a very dangerous trend. A study reveals that lax attitude of the ATCs and casual approach of the commanders, mostly Indians, have been main defaulters for this man-made malady. If the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the apex regulatory body, does not take effective measures, a tragedy more painful than that of the Mangalore crash, may take place further destroying the image of the country in the world of civil aviation.

On Saturday (July 10), Jet Airways’ flight (9W2119), with 140 passengers and crew from Chennai, and an Air India plane (IC174), also from Chennai, with 70 passengers and crew, were almost on the same level. They were only about 500 feet away from each other when Providence, more than alertness of men in tower and in command of aircraft, averted a crash. According to investigation, both ATCs and commanders were in slumber and the commanders were woken up as Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) started making a noise.

The DGCA has rightly started inquiry into the incident. Mere derostering of defaulting officials will not improve the things unless the apex body uses its teeth and ground erring men for a considerable time.

With the onset of monsoon season, the bird menace has intensified at the IGIA. Despite efforts, the Cathay Pacific flight got bird-hit while approaching the airport for landing. More than half-a-dozen other flights had to consume a lot of fuel in going around until receiving clearance for safe landing.

The DGCA immediately summoned a meeting. But mere talk will not reduce trouble unless effective measures are taken to prevent horde of insects sitting or crawling on the runway. According to reports, there are several committees to tackle the menace, which is virtually a regular occurrence at Indian airports. The question is that if other countries, with much heavier onslaught of rain, can control bird menace, why can’t Indian authorities do.

The DGCA, for once, has done a magnificent job in framing comprehensive do’s and don’ts for the VIPs. All this has been done after undertaking detailed study of the plane crash of YSR Reddy’s helicopter in Andhra Pradesh.

If the politicians, placed in different categories, pay heed or adhere to the guidelines stipulated by the DGCA, their operations will not be as hazardous, as they have been. Most of the accidents have occurred because of politicians’ insistence instead of commanders’ failure.

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