The Airport Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has formed a team to investigate the Air India Express plane crash at Kozhikode airport and determine the cause of the accident, said AAIB on Thursday, which falls under the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

An Air India Express flight, from Dubai, crashed after overshooting the runway at Kozhikode International Airport in Kerala on 7 August night, killing 18 people and injuring scores.

The investigation bureau has appointed Captain SS Chahar, former designated examiner on Boeing 737NG, as chief investigator. Operations expert Ved Prakash, senior aircraft maintenance engineer – Boeing 737 – Mukul Bhardwaj, aviation medicine expert YS Dahiya and AAIB deputy director Jasbir Singh Larhga will be part of the team.

The chief investigator will submit the report to the AAIB within five months from the issue of the order, the AAIB said in its statement. The investigative team will also give recommendations to avoid such accidents in future.

“The investigator-in-charge may take the assistance of other experts/agencies whenever required,” the AAIB said.

Mint had earlier reported that the crash at the Kozhikode airport has brought tabletop airports under spotlight. A very similar accident at the Mangalore tabletop airport in 2010 had killed 158 people.

Landing aircraft on tabletop runways, which are located on top of a hill or a plateau with deep gorges running down their sides, is a stiff ask in poor weather conditions. The slightest lapse in such conditions can lead to fatal crashes.

The airport at Kozhikode has two runways, both 2,700 metres in length. They have a safety feature called Runway End Safety Area (RESA) of 240 metres, as mandated by the International Civil Aviation Organization, which limit the consequences when aeroplanes overrun the end of a runway. Both are Instrument Landing System (ILS) CAT 1-enabled.

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