Air India Express accident at Calicut was facilitated by the regulator, how?

  Air India Airbus Landing at Port Blair (Source Dr Puneet) Blaming the pilots alone for an accident is like addressing the symptom rather than the root cause. The root cause of the Calicut accident of IX1344 on 7th Aug 2020 is the poor safety culture prevalent in India and the ineffective regulatory oversight. This landing(YouTube video) can be categorized as a deliberate attempt to endanger the lives of passengers and crew. This is not the Calicut landing but a landing at another critical airport where most of the year the airport experiences tailwinds. Since the airport has a unidirectional runway ( landing from one direction only), the flight crew has no option but to land in tailwinds. The situation worsens during the monsoons when there is a tailwind and the runway is wet and braking action reduces. Action has not been taken either by the regulator or by the airline safety. Why? What is the role of the regulator? The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is the regulatory

Kozhikode airport a violation of ICAO Annex 19. Why policy makers time & again prove ignorance of safety management




Runway strip dimension Kozhikode Airport

Both these airports meet the minimum ICAO standards. ICAO also calls for a Safety Management System to comply with ICAO Annex-19. Every situation or a combination cannot be foreseen by ICAO. This is the reason that ICAO Annex 19 was promulgated to mandate a risk based safety management.

On the 14th January 2018, a Pegasus 737-800 veered off the runway at Trabzon, Turkey and came to rest on a steep slope quite close to the Black Sea.Thankfully, no casualties.

The rule and the spirit of the rule

Safety managers and trained policy holders need to identify the threats and the risk associated with them. If the bare minimum mandated or recommended dimension do not meet the definition or purpose of the object, then buffers need to be incorporated or enhanced.

Runway strip

A defined area including the runway and stopway, if provided, intended:
a) to reduce the risk of damage to aircraft running off a runway; and
b) to protect aircraft flying over it during take-off or landing operations.

ICAO's intention is to reduce the damage to aircraft running off a runway. Now there is a difference between a flat piece of land and a table top. The risk of damage is much higher on a table top. Therefore, even though the runway strip design may comply with the ICAO standards but it does not meet the requirements as per the definition.

ICAO Annex-19 on Safety Management Systems mandate that a risk analysis be carried out and mitigating actions taken to reduce or eliminate the risk.

Kozhikode Runway Strip

Are we waiting for another disaster to happen on the runway sides? In 2017, a SpiceJet Q400 aircraft skidded off the runway at Kozhikode but fortunately managed to get back to the runway. What if the same had happened with a widebody jet?

Safety barriers need to be enhanced as the risk increases. 

ICAO recommendation
ICAO recommendation

Read the Spice Jet incident report at Kozhikode

Spice Jet
Spice Jet incident


  1. Sir SpiceJet incident report is not launching on the DGCA site.


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