India’s Aviation Watchdog Finds Safety Lapses In Five Airlines
An Air India plane takes off (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

India’s Aviation Watchdog Finds Safety Lapses In Five Airlines

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Directorate General of Civil Aviation has found the implementation of the safety management systems of Air India Express, SpiceJet, Air India, IndiGo, and GoAir “to be deficient” in their safety audits, the government informed Rajya Sabha.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday said the audits also found that the flight crew rostering software was not upgraded and untrained staff were manning check-in counters.

The “other staff” at check-in counters too did not have adequate knowledge to handle “dangerous goods” despite being trained in Dangerous Good Regulations, he said in a written response to a question in the Upper House.

In a serious lapse, the regulator found, there was a delay in carrying out the corrective actions for the “Flight Operations Quality Assurance exceedances”, Puri said.

FOQA is the process of obtaining and analysing all kinds of data from flights to improve the safety and efficiency of flight operations. Whenever a safety parameter limit is exceeded, it is called an “exceedance” or “event”.

The DGCA regularly conducts safety audits of scheduled and non-scheduled airlines as per the Annual Surveillance Plan. The last five audits were of these five airlines, the minister said.

During the audits, it was found that the “quantum of Digital Flight Data Recorder analysed under FOQA was not as per the Indian safety regulators requirement”, Puri said.

“Implementation of the safety management system was found to be deficient,” he said. The minister said the DGCA has directed the airlines to take corrective action regarding the deficiencies found during the audit.

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