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    Runway 10 of Kozhikode airport unsafe, especially in wet conditions; expert warned nine years ago

    Synopsis

    Captain Mohan Ranganathan had flagged concerns about the runway in a communication to then Civil Aviation Secretary Nasim Zaidi in June 2011. Ranganathan was then a member of the operations group of the Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Committee (CASAC).

    Air India plane crash: What actually happened at Kozhikode airport
    MUMBAI: Flights landing on runway 10 in tailwind conditions in rain at the Kozhikode airport endanger the lives of people onboard those flights, a civil aviation expert had warned in 2011.

    Captain Mohan Ranganathan had flagged concerns about the runway in a communication to then Civil Aviation Secretary Nasim Zaidi in June 2011. Ranganathan was then a member of the operations group of the Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Committee (CASAC).

    The communication assumes significance against the backdrop of the Air India Express plane crash at the airport on Friday that killed at least 18 people, including two pilots. The Boeing 737-800 plane, coming from Dubai, had overshot the runway while landing in heavy rains and broke into two pieces.

    "... in spite of the danger if the crew accept a landing in wet and tailwind conditions, their concept of ALAR (Approach and Landing Accident Reduction) is very poor," he had said in the communication.

    The communication came against the backdrop of an Air India Express aircraft crash at Mangalore airport in 2010. As many as 158 people had died in the crash.

    "... all the flights that land on Runway 10 in the tailwind conditions in rain, are endangering the lives of all on board," Ranganathan had said.

    With tailwind conditions, the descent of an aircraft at the time of landing might be affected.

    Kozhikode airport in Kerala comes under the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The airport has a tabletop runway.

    Details about action taken by authorities concerned following the communication could not be ascertained.
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    39 Comments on this Story

    Jean-Pierre Lan Hing Kwong40 days ago
    There are so many detailed informative comments but without a full Investigation, one could not say Which is Which. There are so many issues including the political one that we must be patient & wait for the hard cold Facts to come out. The main cause of the crash could be Technical Failure, Human Errors or Climatic condition or a mixture of all. That is why we must have a thorough investigation by true Professional experts to pinpoint the cause. It is a little unfair to blame presently the Aviation Minister or the PM. Regards.
    bhatseetharama40 days ago
    It is well said than done. There is dire need to professionalise the institutions like DGCA and AAI strightway.
    There are I feel all important positions to be manned by technically and administratively qualified and trained personnel which is not the case if you check the background details of most of the burecrates and to ensure that thewir service is safe they wqill only defend but not introspect and accept the change.
    Hope people with professional approach will agree
    Ridhi Pokharel41 days ago
    There is no such thing as a table top runway in any part of the world.This word was invented by the Indian Civil Aviation ministry.
    The Economic Times