Following a series of runway excursion incidents this week involving SpiceJet flights, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) conducted an unplanned audit of the budget carrier’s premises at Gurgaon, which led to discovery of lapses on the airline’s part, a senior official told The Indian Express, adding that four senior executives of the airline have been issued show cause notices by the aviation regulator.
SpiceJet executives who have been served notices are its senior vice-president (operations), chief of flight safety, accountable executive and head of training.
A SpiceJet spokesperson, confirming the development, said: “We are in receipt of the show cause notices issued by the DGCA. The concerned officials will submit their replies within the timeframe given by the regulator. Safety is the core value of our operations and is a shared objective of both the DGCA and SpiceJet. We will take all possible steps that may be required to further strengthen our safety mechanism”.
The DGCA official said that the SpiceJet executives have been found breaching certain safety standards, such as the operations department not taking any remedial action on safety violations it was given by the flight safety department.
In the notices that were sent by the DGCA on Thursday, the regulator has given the executives 15 days to respond. The official said that four Air India Express pilots have also been given notices.
Meanwhile, DGCA has also started a special audit of all airlines and airports in monsoon-affected areas, in light of several incidents across the country. The aviation watchdog has also suspended 12 personnel, including pilots and engineers for lapses in safety standards.
On Tuesday, a SpiceJet aircraft veered off towards the right from the runway centre during landing roll at Kolkata airport, damaging four runway edge lights. This was preceded by an incident at Mumbai airport late Monday, where another SpiceJet plane shot off the runway during heavy rains.
Prior to the two SpiceJet incidents on Monday and Tuesday, another aircraft operated by the low-cost carrier veered off the runway at Surat on Sunday. This came after an Air India Express plane veered off the taxiway after landing and got stuck in soft ground at the Mangalore airport earlier that day.