Following the recent incident where passengers on a flight sustained injuries after it ran into turbulence, Aviation regulator Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), led by Director General Arun Kumar, has launched surprise inspections at several major airports in the country to check on issues of aircraft fitness and cabin safety.
“We are doing it on a mass scale now. The idea is to check the entire fleet and redress wherever required,” Kumar told ANI. The DGCA DG has advised the team to thoroughly examine cabins, cockpits, and the passenger area of aircrafts to check for potential safety issues including loose fittings on aircraft seats, food trays, windows, and lavatories.
“It has been directed to examine all passenger-related subjects, except the cockpit area, which regulators are normally receiving complaints about. If airlines are found to violate the rules, they are liable to pay heavy penalties,” DGCA told ANI.
After the Durgapur incident, Kumar has ordered an investigation of all SpiceJet aircraft.
“So far, the investigation of more than 70 aircraft has been completed. No plane will be allowed to fly without safety clearance,” he told ANI.
Recently, the regulatory body of the DGCA sought the wealth report of all the airline companies for financial audit so that it can be linked with the behaviour of the employees of the companies.
“Aviation is a game of safety and we are following zero tolerance in it,” a DGCA official told ANI.
As per the initial probe on May 1, a Boeing B737 aircraft from Mumbai to Durgapur was on “autopilot mode” when it faced turbulence leaving 14 passengers and three cabin crew injured.
Two out of the 14 injured passengers are currently in ICU, DGCA said.
“During this period, the autopilot got disengaged for two minutes and the crew manually flew the aircraft. Aircraft reported to Durgapur ATC that few passengers were injured due to turbulence and requested medical assistance after landing,” the DGCA report said.