Mumbai: With aviation safety regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) turning up the heat over safety of A320neo engines, the manufacturer Pratt & Whitney (P&W) has claimed it will upgrade all the aircraft in India by by around June this year.
According to P&W officials, more than 95% of the fleet in India have completed the retrofit. “We expect 100% completion in the first part of 2019” said a spokesperson, adding that hardware and software upgrades are providing significant improvements in engine reliability and time on wing.
The response from P&W comes even as DGCA is likely to issue an additional advisory soon for Airbus planes fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines. During a three-hour meeting on Tuesday, the Union civil aviation ministry reviewed the frequent on-ground and mid-air glitches that P&W engines powering these planes have been facing since their induction in early 2016. “In order to deal with issues related to P&W engines, the DGCA will issue an additional advisory in the next one week,” a source said. While the engine maker maintains that there are no safety concerns with its engines, DGCA’s upcoming safety directives are likely to roll out a set of stringent parameters to further strengthen the safety and reliability of A320neo engines in India. The regulator has asked the carriers to take baroscopic inspection of the aircraft at every 500 flying hours as against the stipulated 1,500 hours.
11/01/19 Shahkar Abidi/DNA