No Safety Norms Violated in Goa: Kingfisher Airlines

Mumbai, April 13 (IANS) Referring to news reports claiming that certain airlines had made "blind landings" in Goa, Kingfisher Airlines Wednesday said it had not violated any air safety norms by operating flights to Goa's Dabolim Airport, which is shut for five hours daily for maintenance work, an official said.

"The embargo at Goa Airport had required that no aircraft lands there after 3 p.m. We would like to confirm that none of our aircraft landed after 3 p.m.," a Kingfisher official said.

Regarding three of its flights which had allegedly flouted the norms, Kingfisher said that these flights were delayed due to congestion at the airport and hence departed by 3.30 p.m., but only after following all safety norms.

The official said the new schedules were adjusted to the norms required at Goa, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation was informed of it and its flight crews were also informed and no safety norms were compromised in any manner.

Maintenance work at the Goa airport compelled the reduction of operations there till April 27.

Dabolim airport director D. Paul Manickam said the shortened runway also meant that navigational gear was rendered unoperational for aircraft landing at the airport during the period.

"The Indian Navy has taken up some maintenance work. Therefore, between 8.30 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the morning and in the evenings from 3 p.m. to 5.30 p.m., the full length of the airport is not available," Manickam told IANS.

"Because of the shortened runway, the navigational gear cannot be used. Except for these timings, the landings are normal for the rest of the day and night," he said, adding that most flights had adjusted to the new temporary timings.

"Only ATR (Air Transport Radio)-equipped flights can land without navigational aids. Such flights are available only with the companies like Kingfisher and Jet Airways. It will be improper to say that landings of such flights is a violation of regulations," Manickam said.

Navy authorities have said the Dabolim airport, which is a military establishment, has only one runway and hence "arrangements have been made to interweave maintenance work with daily operations".

The pre-monsoon maintenance work will be completed by April 27, a navy spokesperson said.


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Title: No Safety Norms Violated in Goa: Kingfisher Airlines

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