According to Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, the civil aviation ministry would increase the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) ability to oversee safety by adding a “significant” number of new positions.
The civil aviation minister also stated that, as of the current fiscal year’s halfway point, the DGCA had undertaken up to 202 surveillance inspections in response to recent correspondence from Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi.
In a letter to Mr. Scindia dated October 14, Chaturvedi brought up an incident involving smoke in the cabin of a SpiceJet aircraft between Goa and Hyderabad. He asked for required measures to ensure that airlines uphold the highest safety standards.
On October 12, SpiceJet’s Bombardier Q400 aircraft, flying from Goa to Hyderabad, made an emergency landing there after filling with smoke.
I’ve got the situation looked into. According to the preliminary inquiry, engine oil evidence was discovered in the engine bleed-off valve, which caused oil to enter the aircraft air conditioning system and cause smoke in the cabin. Mr. Scindia responded to Chaturvedi on October 21.
The minister said the DGCA’s findings were promptly relayed to SpiceJet for correction, adding that the agency was keeping a close eye on the issue and would take all necessary steps to prevent any unfavorable incidents. According to Mr. Scindia in the email, the ministry and DGCA place the “highest significance on the safety of air operations.” They have taken several proactive steps to improve air operations’ safety and reduce air-related incidents.
Along with other measures, he said that the DGCA had also carried out 59 spot checks, including some on SpiceJet aircraft.
Following many flight safety problems and a show-cause notice in July of this year, the regulator limited SpiceJet’s flying operations to 50% of the allowed flights for the summer schedule for eight weeks.
Then it was brought forward to October 29.
The flight regulator, DGCA, abolished these restrictions on October 21 and permitted it to fly at total capacity beginning with the winter schedule, which runs from October 30, 2022, through March 25, 2023.
“You would understand that the yearly surveillance plan for Spicejet has raised the number of surveillance inspections from 33 to 47 in 2022–2023.
“Additionally, 155 surveillance checks of aircraft were conducted overall in 2019–20. Two hundred two surveillance inspections have been finished so far in the years 2022–2023, “The minister noted in his reply to Ms. Chaturvedi’s letter.
The ministry has also chosen to enhance the DGCA.
Additionally, he added, DGCA keeps up its proactive efforts to ensure that the airline upholds the exact safety requirements.
According to Mr. Scindia, the DGCA ensures that the proper enforcement measures are taken in case of any non-compliances.
While customers may choose their airline, Ms. Chaturvedi claimed in the letter that crew members’ lives are at stake since they depend on the company they work for their livelihood.
She said, “I want you to take required and suitable steps to guarantee the preservation of the highest level of safety standards by the airlines, in light of the insufficiency of the prior actions taken notwithstanding spot checks and investigations by the DGCA.”