‘AIE aircraft should have been diverted to Kannur due to rains’

V.Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on August 08, 2020

The ill-fated Air India Express aircraft which met with an accident should not have been allowed to land at Calicut airport considering the cyclonic storm, heavy raining, and poor visibility.

It should have been diverted to Kannur airport just 82 km away or Cochin International Airport away at 141 km that does not require much fuel, said IATA Agents Association of India.

“In our Indian scenario, politics and commercial considerations override safety concerns, making airports where passenger safety is dangerously compromised”, said Biji Eapen, national president of IATA Agents Association said.

He pointed out that Calicut airport is on a tabletop runway with 2,700 m length only and requires extra skill and caution during takeoff or landing as it dangerously sits on top hills. After Mangalore air crash, the Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council (CASAC) had reported Calicut airport runway is unsafe and not used for landing during wet conditions. Moreover, Directorate General of Civil Aviation had served notice to the airport, on 'excessive rubber deposits', which could lead to higher risks during heavy raining.

Since the pilot had switched off the engine in time, death toll limited to 18 and helped to save the rest, he said.

Published on August 08, 2020

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