Kerala AI Express plane crash: Issues red-flagged by DGCA were addressed and rectified, says Aviation Minister HS Puri

All issues such as excessive rubber deposits, water stagnation and cracks that were red-flagged by aviation regulator DGCA in the past were “addressed and rectified” by the Kozhikode airport operator, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Saturday.

In a series of tweets, he said that raising such concerns is the normal work of DGCA. DGCA strictly ensures that these are complied with and rectified under all circumstances and this was done by the airport operator.

The Union Minister also urged people to wait for the outcome of the statutory enquiry and then visit the issue with facts.

Puri’s tweets came after various news reports stated that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had issued a show cause notice to the director of the Kozhikode airport on July 11 last year after it found “various critical safety lapses” in different places, including the runway and the apron.

“It is indeed a fact that several issues were routinely red-flagged by DGCA, and were addressed by the (Kozhikode) airport operator. These pertain to excessive rubber deposits, water stagnation, cracks and other routine issues,” Puri said in a series of tweets a day after the plane crash in Kozhikode that claimed at least 18 lives.

The point is that raising such concerns is the normal work of the DGCA, he noted. “The DGCA also strictly ensures that these are complied with and rectified under all circumstances. This was done by the airport operator,” the minister added.

Puri said an enquiry has been ordered under the Aircraft Act in case of the Kozhikode accident and findings of the investigation will be made public.

“I will encourage all to exercise patience and refrain from making speculative observations bordering on the irresponsible. Again to emphasize, all the issues were addressed and rectified,” the Minister said.

The Minister tweeted that AAI strengthened the runway and thereafter necessary permissions were issued in 2018 to operate wide body aircraft. Consequently, certain carriers started operating some flights with wide body aircraft to Kozhikode Airport. 

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