Curtail fliers’ anxiety about safety of Neo engines: Bombay HC to DGCA
The HC said the civil aviation regulator must remove this “fear psychosis,” failing which there will be confusion and chaos in the aviation sector.mumbai Updated: Mar 24, 2018 00:36 IST
The Bombay high court on Friday again expressed doubts over safety and airworthiness of pre-450 series Neo P&W 1100 engines installed in a few Airbus A320 aircraft owned by IndiGo and GoAir. The speculations were raised despite Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) stating that it had not noticed any defects in the engine.
“You (DGCA) cannot allow panicking situation in the country,” said the division bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice GS Kulkarni. “You must declare that these engines are safe and airworthy. Otherwise, just imagine the situation…everywhere you will find people anxious to know which engine is fitted on the plane that they are boarding.”
The bench said the civil aviation regulator must remove this “fear psychosis,” failing which there will be confusion and chaos in the aviation sector.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by a “frequent flier” from the city seeking a direction to the DGCA to ground all the aircrafts flying with Neo P&W 1100 engines on the ground that both the versions of the engine - pre-450 and post-449 were problematic and required to be removed.
During the course of hearing on the PIL on Friday, the judges also insisted that the Indian civil aviation regulator should produce certificates of fitness and airworthiness accorded to pre-450 Neo P&W 1100 engines by FAA and EASA.
The bench, however, continued to express doubts about safety and airworthiness of the engine even after advocate Advait Sethna, who represented DGCA, submitted certificates issued by the FAA and EASA certifying that the pre-450 engines were safe and airworthy.
“We have examined the pre-0450 series with more strict and stringent norms that those applied by international aviation regulators like the United States’ Federal Aviation Administrator (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA), but we have not noticed any defects in the engine,” advocate Advait Sethna, who represented DGCA, told the bench. “These are safe and airworthy,” he said of the pre-450 series Neo P&W 1100 engines.
The court has now directed the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to file an affidavit disclosing what steps the aviation regulator has taken to ensure passenger safety ever since the issues relating to the purportedly faulty engines cropped up in March 2017.