India’s civil aviation space is absolutely safe, problems are routine, says DGCA chief
Arun Kumar’s remarks come after a spate of technical malfunctions suffered by Indian airlines in recent weeks.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation chief Arun Kumar on Sunday said that the country’s civil aviation space is absolutely safe and all the protocols laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation are being followed, PTI reported.
Kumar made the remarks after a spate of technical malfunctions have occurred in Indian aircraft in recent weeks.
More than 460 technical malfunctions were reported by airlines in India in the past year, according to data from the civil aviation regulator.
On July 27, the DGCA had also ordered SpiceJet to operate only 50% of its flights for eight weeks after the airline reported eight instances of technical malfunction in 18 days. The aviation regulator had sought the company’s explanation for the “degradation of its safety margins”.
On Saturday, Kumar in an interview with PTI said that the snags reported were routine and occur with all airlines and different types of fleet.
“In the last 16 days, even for the foreign operators [airlines] who come to India, we have seen fifteen technical snags, which have been attended to and rectified,” Kumar said. “…there are hundreds of thousands of components in an aircraft and if one or two components have issues, it does not always mean that there are high risks or the possibility of fatal incidents.”
Kumar added that the problems faced by foreign airlines were similar to those encountered by Indian carriers.
“What most of them [recent incidents of technical snags] required was troubleshooting, replacement of some component say windshield due to outer layer crack, defective valve, high-pressure switch, landing gear up lock, hydraulic accumulator or an engine,” Kumar said, according to PTI.
On July 19, the aviation regulator had said that an insufficient number of engineers had been certifying aircraft of various carriers before take-off. It made the observation after conducting spot checks and asked airlines to tend to all the flaws and shortcomings by July 28.
Meanwhile, Kumar also responded to the criticism of DGCA being soft in its action against SpiceJet.
“I am not here to shut down airlines,” he told PTI. “My role is to take measures to ensure safe and efficient flying...The focus is always on safety and to ensure that any situation is not allowed to worsen.”