The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will start quarterly safety audits of airside activities at airports. The decision comes against the backdrop of rising ground incidents at various aerodromes, including one at Delhi airport where an aircraft's engine was hit by a toilet cart.
The regulator has decided to conduct safety audit of airside activities on a quarterly basis, as part of efforts to reduce ground incidents for safe operation of planes, according to a communication. "First safety audit based on checklist will be conducted after two months," it added.
A senior official told PTI that the move would go a long way in improving safety on the airside. In efforts to curb ground incidents, a checklist has been prepared by the DGCA to benchmark safety standards on the airside of the airport.
Since January this year, there have been seven incidents involving various aircraft, as per the DGCA. The checklist includes checks of ground facilities at airports, including ground servicing equipment.
To regulate movement of vehicles on the airside, there would be checks on fitness of vehicles as well as of drivers. The knowledge of drivers about aerodrome markings, lighting, terms and phrases used in airside operations, among others, would also be checked.
Among others, the checklist includes aircraft turnaround and general safety procedures such as aircraft fuelling, pushback, handling of arrival and departure of a plane, as per the communication. There are more than 100 operational airports in the country.