Yet another report of a close shave involving two of India’s passenger aircrafts that were in the same flight path has left frequent traveler on tenter hooks. Besides questioning the safety measures followed by the aircraft companies and ATC’s, citizens are today alarmed at the rise in such incidents in the skies.
We decided to speak to frequent flyers in the city who shared their huge concerns on air safety.
According to reports, two planes belonging to Vistara and Air India (AI) came close to a mid-air collision. But thankfully, the accident was averted by the AI aircraft’s woman commander. According to the report, there was some confusion among the air traffic controllers’, who were later suspended, pending detailed investigation.
Meghan Manjrekar , Coating Application Consultant: I travel frequently thanks to the nature of my work and often even twice or thrice a week. I feel there are many faults in the system itself. There should be more thought given to scheduling take offs and landings. There is so little time between landings/take-offs that even a slight mistake will invite a major disaster.
Commenting on the incident, an Air India official said: “The Air India aircraft was going as per the ATC (Air traffic control) instructions. There was no confusion. But it seems that something had gone wrong between the Vistara pilot and the ATC as the Vistara aircraft kept descending while the ATC was giving different instructions. There was some kind of an argument between them,” reported an English daily.
I also feel there should be stringent rules in place for granting pilot licenses. We are too far lax in this matter. Accountability should be a must. If I hear that an airline had a narrow miss, or got caught in some other dangerous situation I would opt not to travel on that particular airline. There are so many options available these days.
Sadashiv Joshi, Mechanical Engineer: I think there is too much of a casual attitude, among the airline officials and crew. The aircraft are also often very old and how much ever you refurbish it, some technical issue is bound to crop up. The airlines are making money, but at the same time, they must phase out old planes in a systematic manner. We still use propeller planes whose life probably expired long ago. We need to be stringent with licenses etc so we don’t get substandard staff.
Parth Welankar, Media Professional: In the case of Mumbai, they have 982 flight operations per day and it still holds the second position in the country as to air traffic is concerned. Now, compare this to the number of accidents or incidents of a near miss, it is negligible. The number of train, car or bus accidents is much more. Hence I believe travelling through an airplane is safer in comparison to other modes. However, given the fact that India is in the midst of a robust phase of growth in air passengers, India’s air infrastructure should be developed efficiently so as to handle the increasing load on air traffic.
Dhananjay Paranjape, Businessman: Pilot error and technical issues arising out of old and refurbished aircraft are often the cause for aircraft mishaps, besides, maintenance also being a concern. Very young and inexperienced aircrew in domestic airlines adds to it. The worldwide demand is huge for pilots, in the last two years so many opt for international airlines leaving the domestic market weak. The crew also face a lot of stress due to the heavy load and inexperience which make the flights difficult. They work extra hours in terms of flying time which adds to the stress. I feel that human error is one of the main causes for these mishaps followed by technical snags.
Daaud Khan, Marketing Manager: Air travel is quite safe even with the recent mishaps. As far as my experience goes enough precautions are taken in the operations of air travel. Casual attitude is not tolerated in this sector. Some minor incidents do take place and these human errors cannot be completely written off as inefficiency.
Well, Bon Voyage it is then !
#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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