The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the nodal government authority on civil aviation, is considering relaxing the current prescribed norm for take-offs, which calls for a minimum visibility of 550 metres. It may lower the norm to 150 metres of runway visibility range.
But don’t expect an early end thse problems because the DGCA is yet to decide when this will be done. Chairman K. Gohain says the DGCA is looking at proposals from various airline operators who want the existing take-off norms relaxed.
A year ago, Jet Airways, Air-India and SpiceJet had sent a request to the DGCA, asking for a change in the criteria for take-offs and landings. "We are evaluating all the finer aspects of the suggestion keeping the safety and convenience of passengers in mind," Gohain said.
Allaying safety concerns regarding take-offs in reduced visibility, SpiceJet spokesman Ajay Jasra said internationally the minimum visibility requirement for take-offs was 75 meters. "For take-offs, low visibility is not much of a deterrent, so no special training of pilots is needed," he said. "For landings, however, there are stricter visibility norms."