Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has said that the civil aeronautics ministry will produce” acceptable” posts in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation( DGCA) to enhance its security oversight work.
Responding to a recent communication by Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, the Civil Aviation Minister said that the DGCA had completed 202 surveillance examinations this fiscal time.
In a letter to Scindia, Chaturvedi highlighted an incident of smoke inside the cabin of SpiceJet’s Goa-Hyderabad flight on October 14 and sought necessary action for the airlines to maintain the highest level of safety standards.
On October 12, SpiceJet’s Bombardier Q400 aircraft operating its flight from Goa to Hyderabad made an emergency landing in Hyderabad after its cabin was filled with smoke.
“I’ve delved into the matter. Grounded on a primary discourse, there was substantiation of machine oil painting in the machine bleed-off stopcock, causing oil painting to enter the aircraft’s air-exertion system, performing in cabin bank Gaya,” Scindia said in his response to Chaturvedi on October 21.
The comments made by the DGCA were incontinently communicated to SpiceJet for rectification. The minister added,” DGCA is nearly covering the situation and will take all appropriate action to help any untoward incident.” Scindia said in the communication that the ministry and DGCA place” supreme significance on the safety of air operations” and have taken several proactive measures to enhance the security of air operations and reduce air incidents.
He said that in a colourful way piecemeal, DGCA has conducted 59 spot checks, including SpiceJet aeroplanes.
In July this year, the regulator restricted SpiceJet’s flight operations to 50 per cent of the permitted flights for eight weeks following several flight safety incidents and a show-cause notice.
Later it was extended to October 29.
However, on October 21, flight regulator DGCA removed these restrictions and allowed it to operate at total capacity from the winter schedule starting from October 30, 2022, to March 25, 2023.
“You will appreciate that per the annual monitoring plan for SpiceJet, the surveillance inspection has increased to 47 in 2022-23 as against 33 in 2019-20.
“Further, 155 surveillance examinations were conducted on the aircraft in 2019- 20. In the time 2022- 23, 202 surveillance examinations have been completed so far,” the minister said in response to Chaturvedi’s letter.
In addition, he said that DGCA is taking proactive steps to ensure that the airline maintains the level of safety standards.
Scindia said that in case of non-compliance, DGCA ensures that appropriate enforcement action is taken.
Chaturvedi had said in the letter that passengers can choose airlines, but their employment dependence on the carrier they work with puts the crew’s lives at risk without any safety net.”
“Given the inadequacy of the earlier action taken by DGCA despite spot checks and investigations, I request you to take necessary and appropriate action to ensure that the airlines maintain the highest safety stands”, he said.