In order to tackle the risk of flight operations during monsoon, the Director General of Civil Aviaion (DGCA), India‚Äôs aviation regulator, has issued a circular detailing the air safety guidelines for airline operators. Operators have been advised to follow certain precautions while planning operations during the monsoon conditions. These guidelines come in the wake of the flight accidents in recent days.
Advising the airlines to have a stabilised landing approach, DGCA also said that the crew should be encouraged to go-around when approach becomes unstabilised or in case of any condition that reduces visual references to enable a safe landing.
There should be awareness among the crew about the Aerodrome Lighting System available at the airport, including the coded lighting system. Aerodrome Lighting System is a system to ensure smooth aircraft operations during adverse weather conditions during the day and night.
The flight crew should also be aware of the aircraft limitations and of take-off/landing performance calculations during the adverse weather operations, read teh circular, signed by Bir Singh Rai, Joint Director General, DGCA.
Additionlly, dispatch planning should take into consideration the latest weather conditions, available notices to airmen (NOTAMs) and available alternatives to ensure safe operations. NOTAM is a notice filed with an aviation authority to alert pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the flight safety.
While adhering to the minimum cockpit experience laid down by DGCA, the operators should perform their own risk assessment before conducting operations during the adverse weather conditions and deploy available sufficiently experienced crew in the cockpit, DGCA said.
The DGCA also stressed that crew rostering should factor in the fatigue element associated with the operations during the adverse weather conditions. According to the Flight Duty Time limitations (FDTL) principles set by the DGCA, the maximum flight duty limits for any operating air crew in a period is limited to prevent the stress caused by the lack of sleep and to provide the crew with maximum rest. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has set the maximum flight timings for an aircrew to fly in a given period of 24 hours is eight hours.
The circular also said that assisted flying should not be permitted and that Minimum Equipment List (MEL) release under All-Weather Operations (AWO) should be adhered to.
On Tuesday, a SpiceJet flight skid and overshot the runway while landing at the Mumbai airport amidst heavy rains.