New Delhi-bound SpiceJet aircraft takes off without ATC’s permission

A New Delhi-bound SpiceJet flight took off from Rajkot in Gujarat on Thursday, December 30, 2021, without Air Traffic Control (ATC) Rajkot’s take-off permission. The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has launched a probe into the incident against the pilots of SpiceJet.

According to the details, SpiceJet Bombardier DHC-8-402Q Dash 8 pilots last week defied civil aviation norms and flew a Delhi-bound flight without take-off permission. The SpiceJet aircraft registration VT-SUQ was performing SpiceJet flight number SG-3703 from Rajkot Airport (RAJ) to Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) in New Delhi.

A SpiceJet spokesperson said that the crew of the Rajkot-Delhi flight have been relieved of duty pending the investigation by the DGCA. Officials said the flight took off at around 9.30 am (local time) on December 30, 2021, and landed at the Delhi airport at 11.15 am (local time). He said that the aircraft has to take permission from ATC several times before taking off.

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First, they have to get permission to exit the aircraft stand, after that they also have to get permission to start the engine. One has to stand in the queue for the flight and get permission to take off at the end. Officials said that the pilots did not take necessary approvals before taking off from Rajkot. The DGCA is investigating to find out the reasons behind the December 30, 2021 incident, he said.

The detailed report of the incident has been sent to the Airports Authority of India Headquarters and DGCA.

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As per Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), mandatory take-off permission is required for any aircraft from ATC before take-off even if there is no plane coming on that runway. Following this incident, the airline company has put the pilots on off-duty till the investigation is completed. SpiceJet said that pending the investigation, the pilots have been removed from the roster.

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