Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft operating in India grounded

All Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft operating in India grounded today: DGCA

All Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft operating in the country would be grounded by 4 p.m. on Wednesday as per the decision taken by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday night, a senior official of the aviation watchdog told PTI.

The decision comes days after a 737 MAX 8 aircraft of the Ethiopian Airlines crashed near Addis Ababa, killing 157 people, including four Indians. SpiceJet has around 12 such aircraft in its fleet. Jet Airways five, which have been grounded already.

A Jet Airways Boeing 737 on the tarmac at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad. File photo

In a statement on Wednesday, SpiceJet said,” SpiceJet has suspended Boeing 737 Max operations following the DGCA’s decision to ground the aircraft. Safety and security of our passengers, crew and operations are of utmost importance to us and we will be working with the regulator and the manufacturer to attain normalcy in our operations. We are confident of accommodating the vast majority of our passengers and minimise inconvenience.”

The decision comes days after a 737 MAX 8 aircraft of the Ethiopian Airlines crashed near Addis Ababa, killing 157 people, including four Indians. SpiceJet has around 12 such aircraft in its fleet. Jet Airways five, which have been grounded already. In a statement on Wednesday, SpiceJet said,” SpiceJet has suspended Boeing 737 Max operations following the DGCA’s decision to ground the aircraft. Safety and security of our passengers, crew and operations are of utmost importance to us and we will be working with the regulator and the manufacturer to attain normalcy in our operations. We are confident of accommodating the vast majority of our passengers and minimise inconvenience.”

Second such crash

The Ethiopian Airlines incident on Sunday was the second such crash involving a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in less than five months. In October last, an aircraft operated by Lion Air crashed, killing over 180 people in Indonesia.

The European Union and many other countries across the world have already banned the use of the 737 Max 8 aircraft in their respective airspace.

-PTI, NEW DELHI , MARCH 13, 2019

IndiGo cancels 47 flights with faulty engines

IndiGo cancels 47 flights after DGCA grounds planes with faulty engines

Budget carrier IndiGo has cancelled as many as 47 flights on 13 March, 2018 after the country’s aviation regulator DGCA grounded its eight A320Neo planes with faulty Pratt & Whitney engines, along with three such aircraft of GoAir.

IndiGo has cancelled 47 flights across its domestic network on March 13, the airline announced on its website. The flights that have been cancelled are from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Patna, Srinagar, Bhubaneswar, Amritsar, Srinagar and Guwahati, among others.

IndiGoThe Directorate General of Civil Aviation ( DGCA) cracked the whip after an IndiGo flight bound for Lucknow returned to Ahmedabad within 40 minutes of its getting airborne due to a mid-air engine failure on Monday.

Three other IndiGo A320Neo planes have been on the ground since February following similar engine problems.

Citing safety of aircraft operations, the Director of the DGCA, in the March 12 order, said that A320 Neos fitted with PW1100 engines beyond ESN 450 have been grounded with immediate effect. Three other IndiGo A320Neo planes have been on the ground since February following similar engine problems.

IndiGo has cancelled 47 flights across its domestic network on March 13, the airline announced on its website. The flights that have been cancelled are from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Patna, Srinagar, Bhubaneswar, Amritsar, Srinagar and Guwahati, among others. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation ( DGCA) cracked the whip after an IndiGo flight bound for Lucknow returned to Ahmedabad within 40 minutes of its getting airborne due to a mid-air engine failure on Monday.

On Monday, hundreds of passengers were stranded across the country as dozens of flights were cancelled by IndiGo and GoAir following the grounding of 11 planes. IndiGo operates about 1,000 flights daily.

IndiGo carries about 40 per cent of domestic flyers, while GoAir has a market share of around 10 per cent.

– PTI, 13 March, 2018

Biometric security check may soon be reality at airports

Biometric security check may soon be reality at airports

Biometric security check may soon be reality at airports

Fliers may soon be able to use biometric details for security checks at airports as the government works on putting in place such systems after receiving ‘good feedback’ for a pilot project.

Giving strong indications, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said that having biometric systems for passengers at airports appear to be a good idea.

The innovative idea, close on the heels of authorities doing away with tagging requirement of hand baggages at select airports, comes at a time when efforts are being made to ensure that aviation security procedures are more efficient and less intrusive.

“Biometric access was experimented at Hyderabad (airport). The feedback was good… Biometric system is appearing to be a good system security-wise,” Raju told PTI in an interview.

Without much fanfare, authorities have carried out a short duration pilot project using biometric system at Hyderabad international airport recently. The exact details on how it is used could not be immediately ascertained.

When asked whether the project for biometric systems would be rolled out at various airports, Raju said a framework has been put up for the authorities concerned.

“Modernisation is a continuous process and they will keep at it. I am not at BCAS or DGCA… We have to give them the policy frame (work). That is what we have done and we are working,” the Minister said.

Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) is responsible for security of the sector while Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is the sectoral regulator.

Asserting that “safety and security” of the aviation sector can never be compromised, the Minister said efforts on the cyber security front is a continuous process and keeps evolving.

“(With regard to) cyber security, what was acceptable a decade ago is not acceptable a decade later,” he noted.

Airports Authority of India (AAI) has awarded a contract worth over Rs 110 crore to public sector undertaking BECIL for providing biometric access control system at 43 aerodromes.

This contract basically pertains to access for employees through biometric systems.

-December 23, 2016, New Delhi

DGCA bans Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on all flights in India

DGCA bans Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on all flights in India

 DGCA bans Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on all flights in India

In the latest, Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has been banned on all flights in India. Director General of Civil Aviation(DGCA) has banned flyers from carrying the Samsung smartphone in check-in bags.

Air passengers, from now on, can only carry these phones in hand bags and that too in switched off mode during the entire flight.

In a public notice Government’s Office of Director General of Civil Aviation said, “Airlines are advised to ensure the following for the safety of aircraft operations and its occupants: Not to turn on or charge Samsung Galaxy Note 7 mobile phone on board the aircraft. Not to stow them in any checked-in baggage.”

Several battery problems have been reported in the Galaxy Note 7 worldwide. The company has already suspended sales of the smartphone all across the world.

US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had already issued a warning to people not to charge or switch on Note 7 in the flying  aircraft in the country.

-September 9, 2016, New Delhi

 

 

DGCA seeks monthly details from carriers on airfares

DGCA seeks monthly details from carriers on airfares

“We will ask for details of the number of seats sold on the highest and the lowest fare buckets.”

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has decided to ask all domestic carriers to furnish details of the number of tickets they sell in the highest fare bucket, and the contribution of such tickets to their revenue from 20 domestic routes, in a bid to check sharp surges in airline fares.

Make data public

The DGCA plans to make the data public and would incorporate these numbers in its monthly traffic data reports, a senior official at the aviation regulator said on Friday. The move comes on the back of complaints from Parliamentarians on rising airfares. “We have received complaints on high airfares. The purpose of the move is to form a clear perspective on how many seats are being sold in the highest fare bucket,” the official said. Airlines offer different fare brackets for each flight, known as fare bucket.

The twenty routes for which airlines would have to share these details include Bangalore-Mumbai, Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Chennai, Calcutta-Port Blair and Hyderabad-Mumbai.

“We will ask for details of the number of seats sold on the highest and the lowest fare buckets and the revenue earned on selling such seats,” the official added.

Experts criticise

Some aviation experts criticised the government for monitoring airfares and said it is a function of demand and supply.

“DGCA is involving itself in the pricing regime. It must get its priorities right — it is a safety compliance and standard organisation, not an economic regulatory bureau,” said Mark D Martin, founder and chief executive of Martin Consulting, an aviation consulting firm. DGCA had conducted an analysis of airfares in 2014 and found that the average fares were closer to the minimum fare, meaning most tickets sold were not priced exorbitantly. Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju had said in Lok Sabha earlier this week that airlines have passed on the benefits of declining aviation turbine fuel to passengers, as per a study conducted by the government during January-March this year.

In the debate on demand for grants of the Civil Aviation Ministry, some Parliamentarians had sought action against airlines and had alleged airfares remained high despite decline in jet fuel prices which accounts for over 40 per cent of airline’s operational costs.

 –NEW DELHI, May 7, 2016

Domestic air-traffic logs 25% growth

Domestic air-traffic logs 25% growth  

Domestic airlines witnessed a robust growth of nearly 25 per cent in November with 11 carriers together flying 7.32 million passengers as compared to 5.82 million passengers in the same period last year, driven by the demand in the tourist season.

Domestic air traffic grew by 24.65 per cent in the month of November, according to DGCA monthly traffic data.

However, the growth during the January-November period stood at 20.41 per cent for flying 73.38 million passengers as against 60.94 million passengers transported by the domestic carriers in the same period of 2014, the data said.

In the month of November, budget carrier IndiGo lost market share by a few notches despite carrying more number of passengers and continued recording the highest load factor.

According to the data, IndiGo carried 25.98 lakh passengers in the reporting month against 25.90 lakh passengers flown by it in October 2015. The airline’s market share, however, dropped by 1.3 per cent to 35.5 per cent in November.

-19 December 2015 | PNS | New Delhi