DGCA directs 6 airports to deploy ‘disabled aircraft recovery kit’ following Mumbai SpiceJet landing incident

PTI, Jul 17, 2019, 12:02 PM IST

Aviation regulator DGCA directed the six major airports of the country to procure and deploy the “disabled aircraft recovery kit” by March next year. The regulator’s direction came after a SpiceJet plane earlier this month veered of the Mumbai airport’s runway while landing and got stuck in the grass area, forcing officials to keep the runway closed for over three days. The recovery kit is deployed to extract and remove any aircraft that is unable to move using its own power or through a tow tractor.

“It is hereby directed to procure the disabled aircraft recovery kit and position it at Kolkata, Chennai, Guwahati, Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru airports by the airport operators concerned by March 31, 2020,” a Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) order stated.The regulator said during the recent landing incident in Mumbai, recovery of the aircraft took more than three days, resulting in closure of the main runway.

This led to cancellation and diversion of several flights, it said. Air India had to deploy its “disabled aircraft recovery kit” to extract and remove the stuck SpiceJet plane.

“There is only one old recovery kit available with Air India” and it “is not adequate for the large number of airports and type of aircraft operating in India”, the regulator said.

On July 9, the DGCA held a meeting where it was “decided and agreed upon that major airports in India should have disabled aircraft recovery kit to meet the exigencies at airports”.

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