Kerala plane crash: DGCA says it had issued notice to Kozhikode airport over safety lapses
New Delhi, Aug 08: Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had reportedly issued a show-cause notice to the director of the Kozhikode airport on July 11 last year after it found "various critical safety lapses", officials said on Saturday.
The DGCA pointed to cracks on the runway, water stagnation and excessive rubber deposits among other lapses in its show-cause notice. The DGCA conducted the inspection after an Air India Express flight coming from Dammam in Saudi Arabia had a "tail strike" while landing at the Calicut (Kozhikode) airport on July 2 last year, an official said.
A little over a year later, on Friday evening, an Air India Express flight from Dubai with 190 people on board overshot "runway 10" at the Calicut airport in heavy rain and went down 35 feet into a gorge before breaking into two pieces, killing at least 19 people.
"After the July 2 incident last year, the DGCA inspected the airport on July 4 and July 5 and found various critical safety lapses," said a senior DGCA official.
However, it is not clear if any action was taken against Rao after the show-cause was issued. The show-cause notice allegedly said "cracks are observed at runway 28 TDZ (touchdown zone) and along runway C/L (center/left) marking at runway 10 TDZ".
The touchdown zone (TDZ) is the part where the aircraft first contacts the surface while landing. The touchdown zone is ahead of the threshold area of the runway.
Besides, the DGCA found several cracks in aircraft stand number 5. It also observed that a "portion of Apron surface" of about 111 metres was damaged. Apron is the area of the airport where aircraft are parked, refuelled and where passengers board.