V K Singh, the minister of state for civil aviation, reported on Monday that the DGCA’s 53 spot checks on 48 SpiceJet aircraft between July 9 and July 13 did not uncover any significant safety infractions.
But as a safety precaution, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) instructed SpiceJet to operate specific designated aircraft (10) only after assuring the regulator that all reported defects/malfunctions are corrected.
At least eight technical malfunction incidents involving SpiceJet aircraft occurred over the course of an 18-day period beginning on June 19; as a result, the DGCA issued a show-cause notice to the airline on July 6 and blamed “poor internal safety oversight” and “inadequate maintenance actions” for the deterioration of safety margins.
According to Singh, the regulator began performing spot checks on SpiceJet aircraft just three days after issuing the notice. On July 13, the spot checks were finished.
“A total of 53 spot checks were performed on 48 aircraft, but no significant findings or safety violations were discovered”he said
The DGCA’s safety oversight process entails a number of subsequent steps, he explained, including communicating observations or findings to the airlines so they can take corrective action, reviewing the corrective action the airlines have already taken to make a decision, and starting enforcement action, which may include issuing a warning, suspending, cancelling, or imposing a financial penalty to the offending person or airline.
The regulator stated in a notice sent to SpiceJet on July 6 that the airline had failed to “create safe, efficient and dependable air services” as required by the 1937 Aircraft Rules.
Since the majority of the occurrences included either component failures or system-related failures, the review of the incidents revealed that insufficient internal safety oversight and maintenance efforts had degraded the safety margins, the notification continued.
The airline was given three weeks by the authority to respond to the warning.
On July 5, a SpiceJet freighter aircraft that was en route to Chongqing, China, turned around and flew back to Kolkata when the pilots discovered that the weather radar was malfunctioning after takeoff.
The airline’s Delhi-Dubai aircraft was diverted to Karachi on July 5 owing to a broken fuel gauge, while its Kandla-Mumbai flight made a priority landing in the capital of Maharashtra when cracks appeared in its windshield mid-flight.
On July 2, a SpiceJet flight bound for Jabalpur was forced to turn around and head back to Delhi after the crew noticed smoke in the cabin at a height of about 5,000 feet.
On June 24 and June 25, two different SpiceJet aircraft had their fuselage door warning lights come on during takeoff, requiring the aircraft to turn around and return.
On June 19, shortly after takeoff from the Patna airport, an engine on the carrier’s flight with 185 passengers bound for Delhi caught fire. The plane then made an emergency landing. A bird hit and caused the engine to malfunction.
On June 19, another incident occurred that required a SpiceJet flight bound for Jabalpur to return to Delhi because to problems with cabin pressurisation.
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