Incidents such as aircraft overshooting runways or suffering tail strikes (when the tail of an aircraft contacts the ground or other stationary objects during takeoff or landing) during the last six months made the DGCA raise the red flag, Indian daily Times of India reported.
These incidents started in April, and in July alone, there were eleven incidents of aircraft overshooting runways while landing, the daily quoted DGCA sources as saying.
To curtail the frequency of such incidents, the DGCA cracked down on airline management and staff.
Measures included airline audits and issuing show-cause notices to airline management.
Some of the show-cause notices resulted in the sacking of heads of operations, or lead to the training of pilots and crew for some carriers.
The crackdown has brought down accident rates substantially, the Times of India report said quoting DGCA sources.
DGCA data reveals that between January and September this year, there were a total of 49 incidents and accidents that necessitated inquiry and action.
Of these 49 incidents and accidents, private airliner SpiceJet accounted for twenty; the Air India Group and IndiGo 11 each. Private airliners Vistara, GoAir and AirAsia India, accounted for two each, while Heritage Aviation reported one incident.
“We have arrested the worrying spiralling trend of accidents this monsoon and our safety standards are showing definite signs of improvement,” the Times of India quoted DGCA chief Arun Kumar as saying.
“Some of the practices discovered (during checks) were alarming and merited tough action that was duly taken. We also started determining responsibility based on credible and indisputable evidence based on flight data after preliminary inquiries,” Kumar added.
India is currently the third-largest domestic aviation market in the world and is expected to overtake the United Kingdom as the third largest air passenger market by 2024.
In Fiscal 2018, India’s passenger traffic grew by 16.52 per cent year-on-year to reach 308.75 million.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is the regulatory body for civil aviation under India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation. Its prime responsibility is to ensure safe and efficient air travel by preventing and reducing aviation accidents and incidents.