Millennium Post

P&W engine row: Prabhu says zero tolerance for any safety violations

New Delhi: With airlines in the country facing issues in Pratt & Whitney-powered Airbus planes, Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu Friday said passengers' safety has to be paramount and there is zero tolerance for any violation of relevant guidelines.

He said that ensuring safety is a responsibility of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and "we have already directed them that at any cost, safety has to be paramount".

"(There is) zero tolerance for any violation of safety issues," the minister said during a Twitter livestream when asked about the issues faced by P&W engines, which are powering many A320 Neo aircraft in India.

The A320 Neos are manufactured by the Airbus. The GoAir has 49 planes in the fleet, 30 of which are Airbus A320 Neos. "We have already given them complete freedom to operate. They (DGCA) have been directed to conduct safety audit not just of airlines but also all aspects of aviation, including aviation infrastructure. So, they are doing it," Prabhu added.

The recurring glitches on the P&W-powered Airbus planes have forced the Wadia group-run budget carrier GoAir to ground seven A320 Neos.

P&W engine woes had forced both GoAir and the larger rival, IndiGo, (which operates 57 such planes) to ground some of the A320 Neos on earlier occasions too.

In a three-hour meeting Tuesday evening, the civil aviation ministry sat with senior executives of P&W, Airbus, Indigo and GoAir to review frequent on-ground and mid-air glitches that the P&W engines have been facing since their induction in early 2016.

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