New Delhi: Privately-owned low-cost carrier AirAsia India came under the eye of the aviation regulator after one of its pilots alleged grim violations of safety norms. Also Read - International Flights: Are You Planning to Fly to Gulf Countries After Lockdown? Know These Rules
Gaurav Taneja, who also runs a popular YouTube channel called Flying Beast, on Sunday tweeted that he had been suspended by the airline “for standing up for safe operations of an aircraft and its passengers”. Subsequently, he posted a detailed video regarding the same on his YouTube channel. Also Read - No International Flights to, From India Till July 31: DGCA Issues Circular
His video went viral across social media platforms, with AirAsia customers writing about how their experiences were relatable to Taneja’s narration. This forced the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to probe into AirAsia’s actions. Also Read - International Flights: How is India Planning to Resume Services? Negotiating With These Countries | Check Details
The pilot claimed that the airline asked its pilots to do 98 per cent of landings in “Flap 3” mode in order to save fuel and that if anyone does not do it, the airline considers it a violation of its standard operating procedure (SOP).
Taneja went on to explain how, in certain cases, “Flap 3” landing becomes extremely difficult and puts the lives of crew and passengers at danger. He gave the example of Imphal airport and said when an aircraft is coming down steeply, it needs to have a drag so that it remains slow, and in such circumstances, a pilot has to do a “Flap full” landing.
“In order to achieve targets, what would people do? They will do Flap 3 landings without giving consideration whether it is safe or unsafe. This directly impacts the passenger safety,” he said in his video.
As a result, the DGCA took note of the complaints raised by a number of stakeholders and started an investigation into the flagged issues. The aviation regulator said it will “take appropriate action based on the outcome of the said investigation”.
However, an AirAsia India spokesperson said that the carrier “stands firmly on its value of ‘Safety Always'”.
“The safety of our guests is of paramount importance in every aspect of our operations. AirAsia India is cognizant of the matter in regard to a social media post put up by one of its employees. We are cooperating with the DGCA on this matter. As a policy, AirAsia India does not comment on matters pertaining to its business or employees,” the spokesperson said in the statement.