You are here: Home » Current Affairs » News » National
Business Standard

There will be 'zero tolerance' on air safety issues: Suresh Prabhu

This comment comes against the backdrop of grounding 14 A320 neo planes due to their problems with Pratt and Whitney engines

A320 Neo Planes

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

New Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Brabhu takes charge at his office at Rajiv Bhawan in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)
File photo of Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Brabhu

Asserting that there will be "zero tolerance" on air safety issues, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu has said the aircraft with engine problems will remain grounded till the issues are addressed.

His remarks came against the backdrop of aviation watchdog DGCA grounding 14 A320 neo planes, operated by IndiGo and GoAir, due to problems with their Pratt & Whitney engines.

"Pratt & Whitney has done some retrofitting, which has resulted in some challenges in engines. So, when I became the (civil aviation) minister, it was pointed out to me... I said this is too risky because safety should not be compromised on any account," Prabhu said in an interview.

Prabhu, who took charge of Civil Aviation Ministry on March 12, noted that safety should not be compromised on any account.

On the same day, aviation regulator DGCA ordered IndiGo and GoAir to immediately ground 11 powered with a certain series of P&W engines after incidents of mid-air engine failures.

"Let them rectify this error and till that time they will be grounded and we called the airlines and told them to make alternate arrangements," Prabhu said.

"By doing this, we are ensuring that there will be zero tolerance on safety issues," he said, adding that the engines will be required to be certified again for air worthiness.

While 14 planes were grounded by IndiGo and GoAir last month due to engine issues, some of them are back in operation after being fitted with spare engines from P&W.

Following the grounding of aircraft, there has been a significant number of flight cancellations by the two carriers.

According to the minister, the situation is more or less stabilised in terms of disruptions.

About regional air connectivity scheme UDAN, Prabhu said funds are not an issue. The funds are coming by way of cross-subsidisation, "so there is no problem," he added.

UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) seeks to connect unserved and under-served airports as well as make flying more affordable for the common people.

Towards providing viability gap funding for carriers participating in the scheme, the government is collecting levy from airlines flying on major routes. Various other incentives are also extended to the carriers under UDAN.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sun, April 01 2018. 16:13 IST