Dangers of flying and air safety concerns

One near miss over Delhi airport every month

DGCA: 18 air misses since January 2007 (till November)

May, 2007: A Jet Airways and a SpiceJet aircraft narrowly miss each other over Mumbai skies at 18,000 feet

Oct 2007: More than 200 passengers of a SpiceJet flight headed for Goa had a narrow escape at Delhi airport when the pilot was asked to abort the takeoff after another plane was spotted on the same runway.
What’s going wrong in our airports? Poor infrastructure, resource crunch, ill-equipped staff? Pronoy Coy and Burkha Dutt managed to corner Mr. A R Poth, Director DGCA for a frank interview on the issue.

PC: The nation wants to know what’s the problem with our airports. Why are so many near misses happening and what are you doing about it?

AP: Pronoy, don’t raise you BP calm down, chill and relax. You see near misses are not a problem; only when a crash happens, you need to worry.

PC: You mean that you will swing into action only after a crash? Do you have any idea of how many lives you are putting at risk this way??

AP: We do, we do, which is why now changing the definition of near miss. Earlier, a near miss happened when the separation between two aircraft went below 10 nautical miles. Now we have changed this and now a near miss can happen only if the distance is less than 5 nautical miles. So the number of near misses will come down in the coming years and I promise you this.

BD: Now I have been browsing through your travel records. I can see that you have not undertaken any air travel in the last 2 years. Infact you have been traveling extensively by train. May we know why?

AP: My doctor told me not to fly.

BD: Oh, for health reasons?

AP: No, my doc’s plane was involved in a near crash. As the plane was landing, the pilot saw a bullock cart on the runway and had to abort the landing attempt. He has ever since given up air travel and has advised me to do the same.

BD: A bullock cart on the runway? What was it doing there?

AP: It belonged to a low cost carrier called Air Dhakkan. They were transporting some food from a local Punjabi dhaba for their in-flight catering.

PC: Did you issue a warning to them after the incident?
AP: Yes, we did. But then their MD Topinath came running to me and begged and pleaded with me to spare his airlines. He said that he would henceforth ensure that his carts were parked safely and away from the runway.

PC: what about security at the airports? In the Bangalore airport people can actually climb trees near the runway and watch the planes takeoff and land. Don’t you feel that this could have serious implications for safety of planes, if terrorists were to fire a S2A missile or something at the planes?

AP: I never knew this. Are you sure? I mean look at the commercial potential of this. We can charge these guys for watching the landings and takeoffs. We can infact have seats built inside the airport for people to watch all the action and may be some day launch a channel that will telecast landings and takeoffs 24*7. We can also allow sign boards and inside airport advertising and then allow vendors to sell channa and other eatables near the runway. I am shocked, can you imagine how much revenue we can generate by this? Thanks for telling me. Sorry to buzz off like this I just remembered I have to attend an inquiry session on a recent near miss. Rest assured, we will take this matter up. Thanks again for telling bye!!

Pranoy Coy and Burkha Dut,



Apple said…
Air Dhakkan??Or Kinky Fisher?? ;)

Popular posts from this blog

Power situation in Bangalore goes from grim to "whatever is worse than grim"

Chandigarh boy appointed planetary protection officer by NASA

Indrani Mukherjea case: Aamir Khan to cry over the weekend