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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Indian regulators issue a warning to SpiceJet regarding safety oversight and maintenance

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Low-cost carrier SpiceJet has received a warning from Indian civil aviation regulators for what they called insufficient maintenance and poor safety management.

After reviewing a number of incidents since April 1, 2022, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) stated in a “show cause” notice dated July 5, 2022, that on a number of occasions “the aircraft either turned back to its originating station or continued landed to the destination with degraded safety margins.”

“The review transpires that poor internal safety oversight and inadequate maintenance actions (as most of the incidents are related to either component failure or system-related failure) has resulted in degradation of the safety margins,” the DGCA wrote in the letter, which was posted on social media on July 6, 2022, by the country’s ministry of civil aviation.

The DGCA’s letter also made reference to a financial analysis it conducted in September 2021, which revealed that suppliers were not receiving regular payments, which resulted in a scarcity of spare parts.

Therefore, the DGCA stated that SpiceJet’s failure to establish “safe, efficient, and dependable aviation services” may be inferred.

The letter states that management has three weeks to provide justifications for why SpiceJet should not be penalized.

SpiceJet’s receipt of the DGCA notification and the company’s intention to respond within the allotted time were both verified by a spokeswoman to AeroTime.

“We are committed to ensuring a safe operation for our passengers and crew,” the spokesperson said, adding that SpiceJet was an IATA-IOSA certified airline.

The statement continued: “SpiceJet successfully completed the meticulous audit program for recertification in October 2021. We have been regularly audited by DGCA. All our aircraft were audited a month ago by the regulator and found to be safe. All flights of SpiceJet are conducted in compliance with the applicable regulations of the DGCA Civil Aviation Regulations on the subject.”

The most recent incident involving the airline happened on July 5, 2022, when a Boeing 737 traveling from Delhi to Dubai was forced to divert to Karachi because an indicator light had failed. The airline said that the plane had safely landed and that a replacement plane had been dispatched to transport passengers to their destination.

After the regulator discovered that the simulator used to train 90 SpiceJet pilots was flawed, the carrier has also come under scrutiny for its training program for Boeing 737 MAX pilots.

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