Now, India grounds Boeing 737-MAX aircraft

"As always, passenger safety remains our top priority. We continue to consult closely with regulators around the world, airlines and aircraft manufacturers to ensure passenger safety."
Now, India grounds Boeing 737-MAX aircraft

India's civil aviation regulator late on Tuesday suspended theoperations of Boeing 737-800 MAX aircraft, after several other countriesrestrained their airlines from operating the aircraft type.

In a late night development,the Ministry of Civil Aviation tweeted: "DGCA (Directorate General ofCivil Aviation) has taken the decision to ground the Boeing 737-MAX planesimmediately. These planes will be grounded till appropriate modifications andsafety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations."

"As always, passenger safety remains our top priority. Wecontinue to consult closely with regulators around the world, airlines andaircraft manufacturers to ensure passenger safety."

Further, Commerce and Industryand Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu took to Twitter to direct officialsto prepare a contingency plan to avoid inconvenience to passengers.

"While passenger safety isa zero tolerance issue, efforts are already on to minimise the impact onpassenger movement as their convenience is important," he tweeted.

Globally many countries havebanned the operations of the aircraft after an Ethiopian Airlines' Boeing737-800 MAX flight crashed on Sunday killing all 157 people on board.

On Tuesday, the UK joinedSingapore, Australia and a number of other countries in banning Boeing 737 Maxplanes from operating in or over its airspace.

In India, SpiceJet and JetAirways operate 17 Boeing 737-800 MAX aircraft. While SpiceJet has 12 aircraft,Jet has five planes of this type.

Earlier in the day, SpiceJet ina statement said: "The Boeing 737 MAX is a highly sophisticated aircraft.It has flown hundreds of thousands of hours globally and some of the world'slargest airlines are flying this aircraft."

"We are actively engagedwith both Boeing and the DGCA and will continue to put safety first, as always.We have already implemented all additional precautionary measures as directedby the DGCA yesterday (Monday)."

On its part, Boeing said:"Safety is Boeing's number one priority and we have full confidence in thesafety of MAX. We understand that regulatory agencies and customers have madedecisions that they believe are most appropriate for their home markets. We'llcontinue to engage with all of them to ensure they have the information theyneed to have confidence in operating their fleets or returning them to service.

"It is also important tonote that the Federal Aviation Administration is not mandating any furtheraction at this time, and based on the information currently available, we donot have any basis to issue new guidance to operators."

On Monday, India's civilaviation regulator had issued fresh safety directives for operations of thismake of aircraft in the country.

"The issue has beenreviewed in DGCA today (Monday) along with the Indian operators covering all reportedsnags or defects of significant nature along with rectification action(s) takenon these aircraft," the regulator said in a statement on Monday.

"Compliance of an earlieradvisory issued by DGCA post Lion Air accident on December 3, 2018 was also reviewed.During the review, it was observed that the 'Daily Defect' and 'Daily Incident'reports contained defects of routine nature and no significant concerns wereobserved."

Accordingly, the directivedeals with the technical aspect and operational.

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