Sunday, October 23, 2022

After Smoke In Spicejet Cabin, Centre To "Strengthen" Aviation Watchdog

Mumbai: The civil aviation ministry will create a "substantial" number of posts at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to enhance its safety oversight function, Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has said.

Responding to a recent communication by Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, the civil aviation minister also said the DGCA has completed as many as 202 surveillance inspections in this fiscal so far.

Chaturvedi, in a letter to Mr Scindia, had on October 14 highlighted an incident of smoke inside the cabin of a SpiceJet's Goa-Hyderabad flight and sought necessary action to ensure airlines maintain the highest level of safety standards.

On October 12, SpiceJet's Bombardier Q400 aircraft operating its flight to Hyderabad from Goa had an emergency landing in Hyderabad after smoke filled up its cabin.

"...I have had the matter examined. Based on the preliminary investigation, evidence of engine oil was found in the engine bleed-off valve, which had led to oil entering the aircraft air-conditioning system resulting in smoke in the cabin," Mr Scindia said in his response to Chaturvedi on October 21.

The observations made by DGCA were communicated immediately to SpiceJet for rectification, the minister said, adding, "DGCA is keeping a close watch on the situation and shall take all appropriate action to avert any untoward incident." The ministry and DGCA place "highest importance on the safety of air operations" and have taken several proactive measures to enhance the safety of air operations and minimise air occurrences, Mr Scindia said in the communication.

He said that in addition to various steps, DGCA has further conducted 59 spot checks on SpiceJet aircraft, among others.

23/10/22 PTI/NDTV

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