India Abroad

Air India Flight Denied Take-Off In Chicago Due To Missing Seat Belt Tags

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
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| August 6 , 2017 , 09:21 IST

An Air India flight in Chicago bound for Delhi was denied take-off due to a surprise check by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which found that a large number of seat belts of the Boeing-777 (VT-ALK) were missing mandatory tags.

Although the missing tag numbers which bear the technical standard order (TSO) was not a safety issue, the flight booked to capacity was not allowed to take-off.

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As a result, Air India had to fly-in seat belts from another of its Boeing-777 which was parked in the New York John F Kennedy Airport. The seat belts from New York were brought to Chicago on a Delta flight and were then installed on the seats of the halted AI VT-ALK before the flight was cleared for take-off. The switching of seat-belt tags resulted in the flight being delayed by more than 8 hours.

Around 44 passenger seats and 14 flight attendant seats had to have their TSO tags replaced before the 342-seater plane was allowed to take-off.

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An airline spokesman said: "The seat belts were perfectly fine. Only some had tags worn out. This is an instance of impractical or irrelevant stipulations being imposed on Air India by FAA. However, we would take necessary action to ensure such things don't recur. A lot of new seat belts have been ordered."

According to a senior AI official, the FAA has been subjecting Air India aircrafts to stringent checks at all the US airports it flies to, New York, Chicago, Washington and San Francisco.

"The checks have intensified in the recent past. While technically FAA was correct in pointing out the missing TSO tags, we told them that new seat belts have been ordered and the old ones will be replaced very soon. Still the aircraft was not allowed to take off till we got some belts from another of our aircraft in New York," said the official.

Vinoo Daniel

Let DGCA carry out surprise checks on American carriers in Indian Airports too.