Ensure a safe flight: the DGAC issues rules to prevent flights that report fuel are May Day

NEW DELHI: Continuing with the repression of unsafe practices by airline and airport operators, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued a set of directives to calculate the fuel increase requirement for flights. The movement of the head of the DGAC, Arun Kumar, comes after the regulator discovered that in the past there have been several incidents either during adverse weather conditions or due to aerodrome limitations in which the operations crew has declared fuel May Day to find priority in landing. In a few cases after landing, the available fuel was less than the planned final reserve fuel.

The regulator has found four major deficiencies in the airline's fuel planning; The decision making of the crew and the support provided by air traffic control (ATC) leads to this preventable fear. The lapses identified are: The fuel transported on board did not cover the second substitute; The crew while deciding the diversion alternative during the flight has not considered the nearest safe landing airport; The crew did not declare ATC minimum fuel and, finally, even after the crew has declared minimum fuel, ATC has granted additional authorizations (to other incoming flights), resulting in greater depletion of aviation turbine fuel (ATF).

As a result, airlines have been asked to take into account the fuel requirement while flying in adverse weather conditions to raise the appropriate ATF to a relatively distant alternative airport in case it is not possible to land at the destination and a close alternative due to bad weather.

The DGCA circular issued by the joint DGCA B S Rai says: The flight dispatch must update the crew during transit stops with respect to the climatic conditions at the destination and the alternatives. The use of the electronic information folder can also be considered to provide data to the crew.

And for ATC, the circular says: When a crew declares ATC minimum fuel, it means that all planned aerodrome options have been reduced to a specific intended landing aerodrome and any change in the existing free space may result in a landing with less of what was planned. final fuel reserve. This is not an emergency situation, but an indication that an emergency situation is possible, in case there is an additional delay. The ATC should facilitate the anticipated landing of the aircraft.

The regulator has stressed that these instructions are for strict compliance by all aircraft and ATC operators.