India has one of the better air safety indicators in the world, says Puri

FILE PHOTO: Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri addresses a press conference in New Delhi. Photo: PTi

India has one of the better air safety indicators in the world as aircraft accidents in the country in 2019 were just 0.82 per million flights as compared to the global average of 3.02, said Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

On August 7, an Air India Express flight from Dubai with 190 people overshot the tabletop runway during landing at the Kozhikode airport in heavy rain and fell into a valley 35 feet below and broke into two, killing 18 people, including the pilots.

Puri said on Twitter: "Regardless of the motivated narrative on India's aviation safety record, I would reiterate that we have one of the better safety records/indicators in the world."

Aircraft accidents in India in 2019 were just 0.82 per million flights as compared to the global average of 3.02, he noted.

"This can be understood better when we compare it to corresponding indicator in India which was 2.8 per million flights in 2014," he stated.

We take all measures to ensure aviation safety, he said.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airports Authority of India have taken positive steps to further strengthen the aviation safety infrastructure in the country, he added.

About 1000 air traffic controllers have been recruited during the last three years taking their number to 3,263, Puri stated.

"Number of air misses has considerably come down from 35 in 2018 to 18 in 2019. There have only been 3 such cases in 2020 till now," he mentioned.

Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill that seeks to improve India's aviation safety ratings and provide statutory status to regulatory institutions, including the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

"In the amended Aircraft Bill as passed by Rajya Sabha today, the maximum penalty for any act in contravention of the provisions of the Rule has been enhanced from Rs 10 lakhs to Rs 1 crore. Further, the regulator has been empowered to impose the penalty," Puri said in a tweet.

"Some Hon'bl members enquired during RS session today as to why the regulator had not imposed fines on operators despite finding deficiencies in the past. I want to inform my esteemed colleagues that power to impose penalties vested with Hon'ble courts before today's amendment," he said in another tweet.

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