The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which oversees aviation, issued a show cause notice to low-cost carrier SpiceJet on Wednesday stating that the airline has failed to establish safe, efficient and reliable.
The DGCA asked SpiceJet to explain why action should not be taken against them and asked for a response within three weeks.
“Reported incidents on aircraft operated by M/s Spicejet Ltd. from April 1, 2022 to date have been reviewed and it has been observed that on a number of occasions the aircraft either returned to its originating station or continued to land towards the destination with margins of degraded security,” the advisory said.
Sharing the opinion on his official Twitter account, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M Scindia said passenger safety is paramount.
“Even the smallest error hampering security will be thoroughly investigated and corrected,” he added.
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In its advisory, the DGCA said its review found that poor internal safety oversight and inadequate maintenance actions (as most incidents are related to component failure or system-related failure) resulted in deterioration of safety margins.
The aviation regulator further stated that the financial assessment carried out by the DGCA in September 2021 also revealed that the airline operates on “Cash and Carry” and that approved suppliers/vendors are not paid regularly, which which leads to a shortage of spare parts and frequent invocation of the Minimum Equipment List (MEL).
A cash and carry status implies financial stress for the airline. The cash and carry format entails that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) credit facility has been withdrawn as SpiceJet has been unable to settle the dues and has to pay the AAI on a daily basis. use of the airport in order to continue its operations.
“From the above, it can be inferred that M/s Spicejet Ltd. has failed to establish safe, efficient and reliable air services under Rule 134 and Schedule XI of the Aviation Rules, 1937. Now, therefore, the Responsible Director of M/s Spicejet Ltd., is hereby requested to substantiate within 3 weeks of receipt of this notice why action should not be taken against the airline If no response is received within the time limit, the matter will be dealt with ex parte,” the DGCA notice concluded.
“We are an IATA-IOSA certified airline. SpiceJet successfully completed the meticulous audit program for recertification in October 2021. We have been regularly audited by the DGCA. All our planes were audited a month ago by the regulator and declared safe. All SpiceJet flights are conducted in accordance with applicable DGCA Civil Aviation Regulations regulations,” the SpiceJet spokesperson said.
It was learned that 32 security incidents from various airlines, excluding SpiceJet, were reported to the regulator on Wednesday. One of them included a bird strike incident with an IndiGo flight in Kannur.
Reacting to this, a DGCA official said: “Most of them have no safety implications. On the contrary, they are the sine qua non of a robust safety management system.
“On average, about 30 incidents occur daily, which includes go-around, missed approaches, diversion, medical emergencies, weather, technical, bird strikes and others,” the official added.
Also on Tuesday, when SpiceJet had three in-flight trouble on its plane, smoke was detected in the cabin of a Raipur-Indore IndiGo flight after landing. Also, a Vistara flight also had a similar problem.
After landing on Runway 10 in Delhi and clearing the runway, her No. 2 engine was shut down for a single engine taxi. However, during this time, at the end of taxiway ‘K’, the No. 1 engine failed and a tow truck had to be called to tow the aircraft to the parking lot. ATC was informed and a tow truck was requested.
“After landing in Delhi on Tuesday, while taxiing to the parking lot, Vistara flight UK122 which took off from Bangkok experienced a minor electrical malfunction. With passenger safety and comfort in mind, the crew elected to tow the plane to the bay,” concluded its spokesperson.