Tuesday, June 29, 2010

India To Develop Aviation Safety Action Plan

Aviation Daily Jun 29 , 2010 , p. 12
Neelam Mathews

India will develop an action plan within eight months to address priorities identified at a two-day meeting of ICAO’s Industry Safety Strategy Group.

The Global Aviation Safety Roadmap is an international strategic plan to promote aviation safety programs that complement the implementation of tactical solutions contained in the U.S. Commercial Aviation Safety Team’s (CAST) safety plan.

“What makes the roadmap — the first in Asia — unique is that it is not an audit. We can measure how we are doing. We do not want to create bureaucracies,” says Gerardo Hueto, deputy chief engineer for aviation system safety at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, which helped create the plan.

A major focus area identified in the workshop are gaps in the use of technology to enhance safety, including runway excursions. Risks associated with excursions are related to oncoming monsoons that create water-logged runways, low visibility in winter and hilltop runways. “There have been 25 runway excursions and 12 incursions...India had a fatal-accident-free record for the past 10 years...[barring] the unfortunate accident in May. We are looking into various issues,” said Director General of Civil Aviation Nasim Zaidi.

Upkeep of runways also seems to have escaped attention with poor signs and rubber deposits that create friction problem. Actions recommended for this problem are “brake to vacate” maneuvers, approaches with vertical guidance (Required Navigation Performance with Baro VNav), and stabilized approach monitoring.

Enhancing training of flight crew and controllers was recognized as an essential.

Other recommendations included wildlife encroachment, a need to install a retraining system following the recent Mangalore accident, better dissemination of information to pilots concerning braking action, and prevention of overshoots.

Another workshop held on adopting best practices in the industry on the weight and balance of the aircraft in India found that passenger weight exceeds regulation and India needed to adopt the FAA AC 120-27E and EU Ops 1.620 regulations. In India, narrowbodies carry up to one and a half tons extra weight and widebodies 2-3 tons extra.

“The recommendations will be considered for adoption by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in discussion with stakeholders,” says Zaidi.

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