SpiceJet Rajkot-Delhi flight takes off without ATC permission; DGCA puts pilots off-duty, initiates probe

New Delhi: Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has launched a probe into an incident in which a SpiceJet flight bound to Delhi from Gujarat’s Rajkot took off without the mandatory permission from Air Traffic Control (ATC) Rajkot.

The incident took place on December 30, 2021, and the DGCA has initiated probe against SpiceJet pilots who were flying the plane. As per the Rajkot Airport Director, the pilots had not taken mandatory take-off permission from ATC Rajkot.

“A detailed report has been sent to Airports Authority of India headquarters and the DGCA,” the Rajkot Airport Director added

As per the schedule, SG-3703 was on time for taking off for Delhi but it was observed by ATC that without taking the mandatory permission for take-off, the pilots of the aircraft took off.

“Through its communication, Rajkot ATC asked the pilots as to how you flew without take-off permission…The pilot in response apologised and said that there was a mistake. This conversation took place when the plane took off,” news agency ANI quoted a senior official of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) as saying.

As per Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), it is mandatory for the flights to get a take-off permission from ATC. The ATC gives the permission after ensuring that the runway is secured and no other aircraft is landing or taking off.

Following the incident, the pilots of the airline company were put on “off-duty” till the investigation is completed. “Pilots have been off rostered pending an inquiry,” SpiceJet informed.

first published:Jan. 2, 2022, 11:57 a.m.

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