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Now, India grounds Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

IANS  |  New Delhi/Mumbai 

India's civil regulator late on Tuesday suspended the operations of MAX aircraft, after several other countries restrained their from operating the aircraft type.

In a late night development, the Ministry of Civil tweeted: "DGCA (of Civil Aviation) has taken the decision to ground 737-MAX planes immediately. These planes will be grounded till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations."

"As always, passenger safety remains our top priority. We continue to consult closely with regulators around the world, and aircraft manufacturers to ensure passenger safety."

Globally many countries have banned the operations of the aircraft after an Ethiopian Airlines' MAX flight crashed on Sunday killing all 157 people on board.

On Tuesday, the UK joined Singapore, and a number of other countries in banning Max planes from operating in or over its airspace.

In India, and operate 17 MAX aircraft. While has 12 aircraft, Jet has five planes of this type.

Earlier in the day, in a statement said: "The MAX is a highly sophisticated aircraft. It has flown hundreds of thousands of hours globally and some of the world's largest are flying this aircraft."

"We are actively engaged with both Boeing and the DGCA and will continue to put safety first, as always. We have already implemented all additional precautionary measures as directed by the DGCA yesterday (Monday)."

On its part, Boeing said: "Safety is Boeing's number one priority and we have full confidence in the safety of MAX. We understand that regulatory agencies and customers have made decisions that they believe are most appropriate for their home markets. We'll continue to engage with all of them to ensure they have the information they need to have confidence in operating their fleets or returning them to service.

"It is also important to note that the Federal Administration is not mandating any further action at this time, and based on the information currently available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators."

On Monday, India's civil aviation regulator had issued fresh safety directives for operations of this make of aircraft in the country.

"The issue has been reviewed in DGCA today (Monday) along with the Indian operators covering all reported snags or defects of significant nature along with rectification action(s) taken on these aircraft," the regulator said in a statement on Monday.

"Compliance of an earlier advisory issued by DGCA post accident on December 3, 2018 was also reviewed. During the review, it was observed that the 'Daily Defect' and 'Daily Incident' reports contained defects of routine nature and no significant concerns were observed."

Accordingly, the directive deals with the technical aspect and operational.

As per the directive, minimum experience level of crew operating MAX aircraft to fly as pilot should be 1,000 hours and co-pilot 500 hours on NG aircraft type.

"DGCA will continue to closely monitor the situation and may impose or take any other operational, maintenance measures, restrictions based on the information received from accident investigation agency, FAA, Boeing," the statement said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 13 2019. 00:02 IST