Aircraft safety breach fines to go up
An Airbus aircraft with a Pratt and Whitney's engine. Indian aviation authorities are pushing for enhanced fines for aircraft safety breach in view of an increase in technical incidents leading to safety alarms.@PrattandWhitney/twitter

In light of the recent reports of technical snags in aircraft safety, the government may increase the maximum fine tenfold to Rs 1 crore from the current Rs 10 lakh to curb the rising incidents of safety breaches. 

Maximum limit of fine

The Centre is mulling major changes to an eight-decade-old law to make aircraft safety a major priority, according to a Livemint report. The proposed Aircraft (Amendment) Bill, 2019, not only raises the maximum limit of fine but also extends the law to all areas of air navigation, the report said, citing an official statement.

We had asked the operator to get modified engines and they are working with OEMs.

The amendments are expected to enhance the functional efficiency of the regulatory bodies, including the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau.

The move gains significance in view of several air safety-related issues that have caught public attention, with the Airbus A320neo planes using Pratt and Whitney's engines reporting on-ground and mid-air glitches. This DGCA recently directed IndiGo and GoAir, which use these aircraft, to install modified engines.

IndiGo promoters' differences threaten services
An IndiGo aircraft on the landing approach. Aviation authorities have set a deadline for airlines like IndiGo and GoAir to upgrade their Airbus 320Neos using old error-prone engines.twitter

The DGCA is prodding original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), airlines and other regulators to take aircraft safety more seriously, DGCA chief Arun Kumar said. "We had asked the operator to get modified engines and they are working with OEMs. They are racing against time and making serious efforts to comply. They may need some more time. Meanwhile, some procedures have been put in place to ensure safety. For us, for the moment, it's wait and watch. However, as the regulator, we will guarantee complete safety for all our travellers," the report quotes Kumar as saying.

Smell of oil

A Hyderabad-bound IndiGo flight, that took off from Delhi on Monday, returned after the second engine experienced high vibrations mid-air, media had reported. The aircraft landed back safely. Another GoAir flight from Singapore to Bengaluru had to return to Singapore the same day because the cockpit and cabin were smelling of oil. The aircraft was cleared for take-off a day later, a GoAir spokesman said.

GoAir is racing against time to meet the January 31 deadline to complete replacing old engines, the report said, citing an unidentified source. Airbus has maintained that the overall performance of P&W enginers continues to improve significantly and demonstrates a high level of operational reliability "For India, the P&W fleet's operational reliability stands at 99.83 per cent at a 12-month rolling average...," a spokesperson of European aircraft maker said.