Aviation regulator DGCA on Thursday suspended two SpiceJet pilots for three months for not following the instructions given by the Air Traffic Control (ATC) to hold their B738 plane at a point and causing runway incursion incident at Delhi airport on August 27, according to a senior official.
"The pilots -- commander Bhushan Nanda and first officer Trishla Chandola -- were operating a B738 plane with passengers on August 27. It was heading for departure from Delhi airport to Mumbai airport," the senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said.
The official said that the ATC gave clear instruction to "hold at holding point RWY 10" and the pilots confirmed that their plane is holding at that point.
"However, the flight -- which had the calling sign SEJ-8723 -- crossed the holding point RWY10 which led to runway incursion," the official added.
The DGCA issued a show-cause notice to both the pilots on September 18, asking them to reply within 15 days. Both the pilots accepted their lapse that they crossed the holding point, the official said.
This is in violation of "DGCA Advisory Circular 7/2009" which states that "flight crews should use a 'continuous loop' process for actively monitoring and updating their progress and location during taxi."
"This includes knowing the aircraft's present location and mentally calculating the next location on the route that will require increased attention," the circular says.
The DGCA official said that the action of both the pilots "jeopardised the safety of aircraft and the passengers".
Therefore, the regulator decided on Thursday to suspend both pilots' licenses for a period of three months, the official noted.
The period of three months would be calculated from the date of the incident.