New Delhi, Oct 24 (IANS) Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has assured of passenger safety after Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi wrote him a letter over the incident of smoke in cabin of Goa-Hyderabad SpiceJet aircraft and about non-compliance of safety and emergency protocols by the airline.
Scindia in his reply said, “I have had the matter examined. Based on the preliminary investigation, evidence of engine oil was found in engine bleed-off valve which had led to the oil entering the aircraft air conditioning system resulting in smoke in the cabin. The observations made by DGCA were communicated immediately to SpiceJet for rectification. DGCA is keeping a close watch on the situation and shall take all appropriate action to avert any untoward incident.”
He said Ministry and DGCA, the safety regulator, place highest importance on the safety of air operations and have taken several proactive measures to enhance the safety of air operations and minimizing air occurrences.
DGCA has further conducted 59 spot checks on SpiceJet aircraft. In September this year, the DGCA had restricted the number of departures of SpiceJet to 50 per cent of the number of departures approved under Summer Schedule 2022 for a period of 8 weeks and further extended up to October 28, 2022.
“You would appreciate that the surveillance inspections as per the annual surveillance plan for SpiceJet has been increased to 47 in 2022-23 as against 33 in 2019-20. Further, overall 155 surveillance inspections were carried on aircraft in 2019-20. In 2022-23, 202 surveillance inspections have been completed so far,” he said.
The DGCA continues to take proactive measures to ensure that the level of safety standards is maintained by the airline. In case of any non-compliances, DGCA ensures that appropriate enforcement action is taken.
The Ministry has decided to strengthen the DGCA by way of creation of substantial number of posts in DGCA for enhancing its safety oversight function.