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MPs Demand Time-bound Report on Kozhikode Airport Mishap at Parliament Standing Committee Meet

File photo of the Air India Express flight that skidded off a runway while landing at the airport in Kozhikode. (AP)

File photo of the Air India Express flight that skidded off a runway while landing at the airport in Kozhikode. (AP)

While the issue for the meeting was on how tourism was impacted due to COVID-19, certain MPs demanded a discussion on the recent Kozhikode air crash, which was duly allowed by committee chairman Rajiv Pratap Rudy

The Department Related Standing Committee for Transport, Tourism and Culture Civil met on Monday under the chairmanship of BJP MP Rajiv Pratap Rudy who came in for party colleague TG Venkatesh who was forced to skip the meeting because of certain family emergency.

While the issue for the meeting was on how tourism was impacted due to COVID-19, certain MPs demanded a discussion on the recent Kozhikode air crash, which was duly allowed by Rudy, respecting the sentiments of the Kerala MPs- KC Venugopal, K Muraleedharan and AK Antony.

Sources say several questions were asked by these MPs to officials present in the meeting.

Those present in the meeting say that Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola, Airport Authority of India Chairman Arvind Singh and officials from Air India answered questions asked by MPs.

While the Civil Aviation Secretary once again explained to the MPs of what the situation on ground has been and also that Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has ordered a detailed probe into the incident, the report for which would come within five months’ time.

The MPs further told the MoCA Secretary that a time-bound inquiry must be done sooner and shared with the Committee. The MPs also asked the officials whether any responsibility for the said mishap was because of the miscalculation of the pilots.

Air India officials & AAI chairman are said to have told the MPs that it would be premature to cast any such aspersions right now. Members asked for that information with the Committee at the earliest.

On behalf of the committee, Rudy requested that the said information must be sent in writing to the aforesaid MPs and the Committee within a few days, preferably before its next committee.

The MPs also raised the need for an increased amount of compensation, it is said. Aviation officials showed a positive response to the demand and would get back to them after consulting with the government.

The MPs also asked the officials what were the operational plans in the coming days for the Kozhikode airport. The officials agreed to write to the Committee in a few days after review. The Committee would get a written reply.

BJP MP from Arunachal Pradesh Tapir Gao expressed reservation about the Kozhikode accident and said that all precautions to be taken to see no repeat of such an incident in the future.

Air India Express plane, flying under Vande Bharat scheme, from Dubai to Kozhikode, crash-landed at the Kozhikode Airport on the evening of August 7, 2020. Of the 190-odd passenger and crew, 18 died, including two pilots.