Over the past few months, since air traffic went back to normalcy post lockdown period, various technical issues have affected the operations of Indian airlines. Some of these included the burning smell in the cabin and the issue with the engines. According to information provided by the Civil Aviation Ministry, Indian airlines went through 478 technical issues between July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022. Air India was the most affected by these issues, followed by SpiceJet, IndiGo, and GoAir.
Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh told the Rajya Sabha on Monday that an aircraft may experience technical issues due to the malfunction of equipment and components that are required to maintain the safety and efficiency of the flight. These issues are usually reported by the flight crew after receiving a visual or aural warning. He also stated that these issues can additionally be caused by the aircraft’s inability to operate properly or handle the aircraft.
Despite the high number of technical issues that the airlines faced, Singh noted that only 27 safety-related issues were reported during the 2021 and 2022 financial years.
Over the course of the year, the Directorate General of Aviation (DGCA) carried out 169-night surveillance exercises and 497 spot checks, and 177 surveillance exercises on various aspects of the airlines. These activities were carried out in response to the increasing number of technical issues that the carriers faced.
The aviation regulator carried out 21 enforcement actions against the airlines for violating various safety regulations over the findings of the surveillance program. These included the suspension of their licenses, the withdrawal of their post holders, and the issuance of warning letters. Recently, a showcause notice was issued to SpiceJet.
Following the findings of the inspections and spot checks, the number of flights with SpiceJet was restricted to 50 per cent during the summer schedule. This was implemented on July 27. The airline was required to submit a response to the notice regarding the safety concerns raised by the regulator.
The Indian Express last week reported that the DGCA has started implementing a strategy of temporarily grounding certain types of aircraft to ensure that the installations and faulty equipment are fixed.