DGCA issues circular on safety measures to prevent runway incursions after Japan’s Haneda airport planes collision

To avoid Japan’s Haneda airport-like plane collision due to runway incursion, India’s air safety watchdog, DGCA, has asked stakeholders to immediately deploy a runway safety team at all airports and adopt technologies to improve situational awareness.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued a circular which elaborated that apart from establishing a runway safety team at all aerodromes and ensuring their effective functioning, speedy initiatives should be taken towards comprehensive training for pilots, air traffic controllers, aircraft maintenance engineers, and drivers operating inside an airport.

DGCA’s on how to prevent runway incursions

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In the circular, the DGCA said Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) should ensure that stop bars are switched on to signal a stop and switched off to indicate traffic may proceed. In no case, aircraft or vehicles be instructed to cross illuminated red stop bars.

Aerodromes, ATCs and airlines have been asked to implement contingency measures to cater to unserviceable stop bars.

The DGCA has also recommended the adoption of technological interventions to improve situational awareness, thereby assisting Air Traffic Control (ATC) and other stakeholders to identify the traffic within the manoeuvering area.

Other recommendations include ensuring adherence to standard procedures by all involved personnel/stakeholders and recognising the influence of human factors on performance, which may contribute to runway incursions.

As per the DGCA, the rate of runway incursions is decreasing and by ensuring a proactive approach among all stakeholders, the risk of such incidents can be reduced further.

Japan plane collision

On 2 January, a passenger plane and a Japanese Coast Guard aircraft collided on the runway at the Haneda airport and burst into flames. Five people on board the plane of the coast guard were killed.

The incident happened due to a runway incursion by the Japanese Coast Guard’s DHC-8 aircraft when Japan Airlines aircraft was in the process of landing.

Last year in August, a mishap was averted at the Delhi airport involving two Vistara planes as the ATC inadvertently gave clearance for crossing and take off of two different aircraft on the same runway at the same time before cancelling the takeoff.

With inputs from PTI

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