Demolish 48 obstacles on flightpath in Mumbai: Bombay High Court

Image for representation.

Image for representation. | Photo Credit: V. V. Krishnan

The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Collector to take steps to demolish 48 obstacles in the way of Mumbai’s airports that commit air safety violations. 

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M. S. Karnik was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Yeshwant Shenoy pointing out that there are blatant violations of air safety regulations by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Also read:Safety in the sky: The Hindu Editorial on DGCA’s no tolerance for laxity among airlines

The PIL alleges that AAI has given illegal height clearance for about 200 buildings in violation of their own regulations as well as the regulations of DGCA. The PIL states these clearances have resulted in the conversion of the Mumbai Airfield into a ‘Minefield’ and with the outdated obstacle mapping (mapped in 2000). It further states that pilots are flying blind and if any of the aircraft crashes into any of these buildings, it will result in catastrophe.

The bench noted the obstacles include buildings whose height will have to be reduced as they have neither complied with DGCA’s demolition orders nor have they filed appeals.

The court has directed the Collector to file an affidavit of compliance by August 19.

In the last hearing, the Chief Justice had remarked, “I happened to see a movie Runway 34. Nothing depends on the pilot. Everything depends on air traffic control. We think the pilot has announced that we are set for landing or take off and the temperature outside is so and so and everything is fine. But it all depends on several other factors. One mistake here and there…anything can happen.”

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2022 12:30:46 am |