GUWAHATI, June 14 � Safety of the air passengers is on the top of the priority list of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and only recently, the planes of a private airlines company operating in the North East region have been grounded, said the Director General of Civil Aviation, EK Bharat Bhushan.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Bhushan said that every possible step has been taken by the DGCA to ensure the safety of the passengers and necessary actions are being taken whenever required.
Commenting on the recent incident in the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi international airport where an Air India flight coming from Silchar lost one of its nose wheels during take off and the pilot and the co-pilot saved the lives of the passengers by managing to land the flight safely, Bhushan said that a thorough investigation into the matter is being conducted. He said that the report of the probe is expected within two weeks and the DGCA would take appropriate action immediately after receiving the report.
The recent incident raised a few questions on the safety of the ATR crafts, but the Director General of Civil Aviation said that there is no question about the safety of the ATR crafts. He said that the ATR planes are considered very safe and those are most powerful planes of this class. He pointed out that the ATR planes are being used all over the world and there is no reason for the passengers to worry. He also revealed that the condition of the planes is scrutinized regularly.
Bhushan admitted that the facilities for maintenance of the ATR planes are not available in the LGBI airport and the crafts have to be sent to Kolkata for maintenance. But he said that it is not a major problem �as Kolkata is well linked and there is no problem is sending the planes operating in the North East to Kolkata for maintenance works.�
The DG of Civil Aviation revealed that only recently, the Directorate grounded the planes of North East Shuttle, a private airline operator considering the safety of the passengers in mind.
The North East Shuttle began its operation in January 2009 under non scheduled operating permit in January, 2009 with one nine seater Cessna Caravan craft based in Mizoram and later the company added two Dornier 228 planes having capacity to carry 18 passengers each. However, the Cessna was damaged in a crash landing in Aizawl and when the operation of the company was suspended by the DGCA, it was operating with single engine Dornier crafts.