CHENNAI: Aerobridges at the city airport may soon have additional sensors installed on them that will auto cut off docking procedures if the operator is going too fast.
This was among the measures discussed at a stakeholders consultation held in the wake of last week’s incident — where a GoAir plane had a hole knocked into its fuselage by a careless aerobridge operator. “We have asked the aerobridge provider Bukaka, from Indonesia, to examine whether an additional sensor can be put into each and every one of our aerobridges to avoid an incident of this sort in the future,” said Chennai Airport Director Captain Deepak Shastri.
After the incident, the plane was repaired and cleared for flight last Sunday. Meanwhile, the aerobridge operator involved in the incident has been de-rostered and all the others have been asked to undertake additional training to avoid such mishaps. “What we are looking at now is to take inputs from every single stakeholder — from the operators on the tarmac to the airlines — to evolve a modern Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that will give greater clarity on how to dock and undock an aerobridge after the plane arrives,” he added.
During the meeting, members of the Airline Operating Committee had raised concerns about turnaround times getting affected if aerobridges took over four minutes to complete the docking procedure.
This was set aside as the damage caused to the aircraft — which in the case of most Indian air carriers that are leased from foreign owners — was substantially higher than the loss of time and the risk of customer complaints. “Safety is the major concern here and we cannot supercede that with any other factors. Training and refreshing skills of ground-level operatives is necessary,” said an Airports Authority of India official.