Free Press Journal

DGCA rules out plans to ground A320Neos over P&W engine glitches


Mumbai : The aviation regulator DGCA has ruled out grounding the Pratt & Whitney-powered Airbus A320Neo fleet despite the recurring serious safety issues with the faulty new engines.

IndiGo, which is the largest operator of these planes in the country, and GoAir being the other one, have already grounded three such planes following an emergency airworthiness directive from the European Aviation Safety Agency or Easa on this issue over the weekend.

“No (there is no such plan),” was the response of Director General Civil Aviation BS Bhullar when asked about whether there was any move on the part of the regulator to ground the entire Pratt & Whitney-powered Airbus A320 Neo planes despite repeated serious safety glitches with the new engines of these planes.

It can be noted that this is in sharp contrast to the stance taken by the regulator during the Manmohan Singh government when Air India’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners faced battery fire issues prompting DGCA to order grounding of all B-787s shortly after the US Federal Aviation Administration ordered so. “Certainly, we will not fly the Dreamliners until the FAA and our DGCA give clearance,” then aviation minister Ajit Singh had said.

The Easa directive issued last Friday came in the wake of instances of the engines in-flight shutdowns and rejected takeoffs involving A320 Neo family planes. Last time also, despite IndiGo facing 69 Neo engine failures between March 2016 and Sept 2017 and GoAir too reporting in-flight disruptions on account of the engine woes, the DGCA did not take any tough stand.