Indian airlines reported 478 technical snags due to malfunctioning of components between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022, of which the most were witnessed by Air India, followed by IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir, according to information provided by Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
“An aircraft may experience technical snags due to malfunctioning of components/equipment fitted on the aircraft which require rectification by the airlines for continued safe, efficient and reliable air transport service. These technical snags are reported by the flight crew on receiving an aural/visual warning in the cockpit or an indication of an inoperative/faulty system or while experiencing difficulty in handling/operating the aircraft,” he said in his response to a question.
However, despite the high number of technical snags faced by airlines in the country, only 27 safety related issues happened in 2021 and 2022 (till July 25), according to a different reply by Singh in the Rajya Sabha.
Following the increase in technical snags over the last one year, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) conducted 177 surveillance exercises, 497 spot checks and 169 night surveillance exercises on engineering and maintenance aspects of airlines between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.
Based on the violations found during surveillance, enforcement action has been taken by the aviation regulator against responsible airline personnel in 21 instances, which includes suspension of license, withdrawal of post holder (approved personnel to the airlines involved in the maintenance of aircraft), issuance of warning letters, etc.
Recently, a showcause notice was issued to Spicejet.
On the basis of findings from various spot checks, inspections, and the reply submitted by SpiceJet to the notice, for continued sustenance of safe and reliable air transport service, the number of departures of the airline were restricted to 50 per cent of the departures approved under Summer Schedule 2022 for a period of eight weeks with effect from July 27.
Earlier this month, The Indian Express reported that the DGCA has started resorting to a strategy of grounding of aircraft on a case-to-case basis when faulty equipment or worn out installations were found until corrective measures are taken.