Indian authorities suspend PAR approaches

March 15, 2011

The Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) India has suspended Precision Approach Radar (PAR) approaches with immediate effect.

In an Operations Circular the DGCA notified operators in November 2010 about PAR approaches.  It had been observed that several air operators were utilizing PAR facility for approaches to land at Indian Defence Airfields. This was being carried out without any training, familiarity or even guidance material being given to pilots although the ATC controllers are trained and current on the procedure.

DGCA stressed that PAR approach to land must be carried out only after training or detailed guidance material is provided to the pilots along with incorporation in the Operations Manual/ SOPs. For this, airlines are also required to source specific data from airport authorities including, but not limited to, ATC procedures, phraseology, flight profile, OCA, obstacle information, missed approach criteria and profile.

The Circular stated that all Indian operators were required to take appropriate action and keep DGCA informed.

On March 10, 2011 DGCA notified operators that PAR approaches were  suspended with immediate effect until further notice. DGCA reported to be in the process to conclude experience training and guidance requirements on PAR approaches.

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Indonesia grounds airline SMAC over safety concerns

February 19, 2011

The Indonesian Directorate General of Civil Aviation suspended the AOC of Sabang Merauke Raya Air Charter (SMAC) following the fatal accident of a CASA C-212 Aviocar operated by SMAC on February 12, 2011.

The CASA Aviocar operated on a test flight from Batam Airport (BTH), Indonesia to Tanjung Pinang (TNJ) after the replacement of an engine. Preliminary investigation results indicated that:

  1. The pilot in command was not qualified for this kind of flight;
  2. No permission was obtain to carry out this test flight; and
  3. A spare engine was carried on board during the test flight.

These findings led the DGCA to suspend the airline’s AOC as a “preventive action”, according to the official statement. The DGCA will conduct a special safety audit of the airline and the airline will remain grounded until further notice.

The airline was added to EU list of banned air carriers on July 4, 2007.


Indian safety council inaugurated, further DGCA autonomy planned

June 3, 2010

Indian Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel inaugurated the newly formed Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council (CASAC). The council will give suggestions to the Government on various air safety issues.

The first CASAC meeting was held on June 3, 2010. The 28 members will meet every month for three months and then on a quarterly basis. Aviation Minister Patel indicated : “…in future we will try to even bring about suitable legislations if necessary to further strengthen the DGCA, and empower it by appropriate legislation so that the autonomy of the DGCA is well respected.

Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has already sent 11 teams to inspect all the runways in India, which are classified as critical. The airports that will be inspected first on a priority basis are:

  • Leh Airport (IXL/VILH)
  • Kulu-Bhuntar Airport (KUU/VIBR)
  • Shimla Airport (SLV/VISM)
  • Port Blair Airport (IXZ/VOPB)
  • Agartala-Singerbhil Airport (IXA/VEAT)
  • Lengpui/Aizawl Airport (AJL/VEAZ)
  • Kozhikode-Calicut Airport (CCJ/VOCL)
  • Mangalore-Bajpe Airport (IXE/VOML)
  • Jammu-Satwari Airport (IXJ/VIJU)
  • Patna Airport (PAT/VEPT)
  • Latur Airport (LTU)

India to establish Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council

May 27, 2010

In the wake of the serious accident involving an Air India Express Boeing 737 at Mangalore, the Civil Aviation Minister decided to establish the Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council (CASAC).

The Council will work directly with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and recommend steps for improving air safety.

The proposed Council will constitute of pilots, air traffic controllers, airport operators, the air force and medical specialists. Also representatives from manufactures like Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier will be special invitees to the Council.

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