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Airlines need to behave responsibly

Monday - September 24, 2018 1:02 pm , Category : TRAVEL

WTN- The recent midair scare in a Jet Airways flight from Mumbai could have easily ended up in a major air crash in a matter of minutes. The cabin pressure dipped low and several passengers suffered traumatic experience, including bleeding from the nose and ears. 

The oxygen masks came out flying and people had breathing problems. Had the plane failed to land in time, it could have crashed shortly. Such an incident of lowering air pressure in the cabin led to an air disaster in Greece killing all the passengers on board a few years back. Cabin pressure is an important element of air safety and it is part of the standard operational procedure before every takeoff that the pilots and cabin crew have to ensure. 

No pilot with the requisite experience and training can forego or ignore this vital parameter of flying. There is a checklist of all the dos and don’ts regarding the operational procedures with every pilot and co-pilot in every plane, which is ticked, tallied and verified before every takeoff. The checks and balances in airlines operations are very strong with layers of security checkpoints which are difficult to skip. There can be no scope of negligence or forgetfulness in such an important job, unless one is sozzled or not in his senses or unless one suffers dementia. It is a mystery how the pilot and co-pilot both together missed this important check and forgot to operate the switch that maintains the right cabin pressure. This is a gross folly and a major technical lapse that cannot be forgiven. 

The pilots have been de-rostered pending investigation as is the procedure but strict action must be taken against them for such a slack attitude. Their irresponsibility could have led to the loss of 170 lives. Jet Airways has a comparatively better operational history than some other national airlines but this kind of disastrous action brings bad reputation to it. Misdemeanor and apathetical approach of airlines and their staffers towards passenger safety and convenience has become common. Due to the surge in passenger volumes, shortage of pilots, long duty hours and price wars, the high standard of professionalism expected by fliers is taking a hit. 

Despite a strong monitoring and regulatory body like DGCA in place and airline companies confirming to international flying norms, lapses have become glaring. Things like loss/damage to luggage during transfers at airports, delay in flights, brawls among staffers and pilots, misbehavior, litigations, emergency landings, near crashes, possible misses, breakdowns, poor food etc are regular complaints that are making news. The era of low cost airlines and unhealthy competition to undercut each other has somewhere devalued the status of the flier and the chalta hai attitude has creeped in the professional culture of such a sophisticated and precision job. 

Planes don’t give a second chance. A millisecond’s mistake can prove fatal. We need better pilots and better training to them. A high standard of discipline and moral commitment is imperative to flying and anyone not adhering to these basic principles have no right to be a part of the industry. India is looking at an exponential growth in the sector in the coming years and if we falter and are caught napping, the industry will sag.

-Window To News
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