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DIAL to now fix responsibility for accidents at Delhi airport, make agencies pay

Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) has decided that in all cases of accidents at the airport, the driving permit and entry passes of vehicles will be seized till an inquiry is completed and the cost of repairs is recovered.

delhi Updated: Oct 31, 2017 17:41 IST
Faizan Haider
Faizan Haider
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,DIAL,Delhi airport
In May, an electric baggage tractor had hit the engine of a Shanghai-bound Air India aircraft.(Twitter/ANI Photo)

In light of frequent accidents at Delhi airport, operator DIAL has now decided to recover damages from the agency involved.

From collision of aircraft with support vehicle to jet blast shattering the windows of a bus carrying passengers, several incidents this year have marred the safety of passengers and caused flight delays. Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) has now decided that in all such cases, the driving permit and entry passes of vehicles will be seized till an inquiry is completed and the cost of repairs is recovered.

The damage from each such accidents reportedly runs into lakhs of rupees and in many cases, the aircraft is grounded for days affecting the overall schedule of the airline. On October 16, for instance, when an Air India plane was hit by baggage wagon, the flight got delayed by two hours and passengers had to be shifted to another aircraft.

In a meeting of the airside safety committee last month, the head of safety PP Singh raised concerns over increase in incidents in the apron area at the airport.

The incidents or accidents at airside have now been divided into three categories, according to the minutes of the meeting accessed by Hindustan Times. In case of any damage to the DIAL infrastructure, the vehicle entry pass and airport driving permit of respective agency — airline, ground handling agency operating bus, ladder vehicle, baggage vehicle and follow me vehicle etc — or individuals will be released after the recovery of the cost of repair.

DIAL has categorised accidents into three. The first category will include incidents involving the aircraft and human injury, which will be investigated by DIAL safety team. The second category will include incidents involving minor injury, damage to vehicles, equipment and infrastructure and will be investigated by the respective agency. In the third category, incidents with minor damages will be probed.

“Data from the incidents/accidents will be analysed and shared with all concerned for further action by the respective agencies to ensure necessary action to prevent reoccurrence of such incidents/accidents,” the minutes read.

A DIAL spokesperson said, “The action was taken to create accountability and to safeguard the airport’s assets from damages caused by controllable factors. DIAL also attempts to recover costs of a damaged asset from the concerned agency if identified, after expert assessment.”

He said DIAL has the onus of protecting its asset at the airport and ensuring an accident-free environment for aircraft operations and personnel working at the airport. “Dedicated safety, compliance and enforcement offices at DIAL have the task of sensitising agencies and personnel working at the airport towards safety measures and contributing to the safety culture through awareness campaigns, regular safety audits and enforcement drives,” he added.

Mishaps this year

October 14: A vehicle carrying baggage hit a parked Air India aircraft

September 16: An Air India aircraft hit a parked ground cooling unit truck just after landing. The GCU is ground support equipment, which supplies cold air or hot air into a parked aircraft to regulate temperature inside

August 10: An Ethiopian Airline’s plane, carrying 196 passengers, hit a parked Air India aircraft. The Ethiopian Airlines’ plane was being pushed back by a tractor when the incident took place

July 10: Five Mumbai-bound passengers on-board an IndiGo coach sustained minor injuries when the windowpane of the bus shattered due to a jet blast allegedly from a SpiceJet plane

First Published: Oct 31, 2017 17:41 IST