India’s aviation authority, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has announced plans to conduct extensive examinations of commercial aircraft in India. 

The DGCA will focus on aircraft that have been in service for a long agreeable time with a considerable amount of flying hours over recent years to ensure the suitable structural integrity of all aircraft, internally and externally. 

The DGCA is taking action…why? 

The DGCA has been busy in 2022 so far with various situations that have prompted it to undergo a thorough check of all older commercial aircraft. 

In recent months, the upkeep of Indian carriers’ aircraft has come into question. A passenger took pictures of an Air India Airbus A320 that looked worse for wear internally. In April, authorities grounded a SpiceJet Boeing 737 after a passenger tweeted unimpressive pictures of the aircraft’s interior. 

SpiceJet
SpiceJet is the second-largest airline in India by the number of domestic passengers carried. | © Getty Images

The reported incidents concerned over the practices of the carrier’s maintenance department, which had cleared the aircraft to fly despite damage to its interiors. 

The plan of action

First reported by The Times of India, The DGCA plans to conduct extensive cabin checks on aircraft, particularly the older ones, across major airpost in India while the aircraft is parked at night. The checks are more thorough and detailed than the regular maintenance checks that commercial aircraft usually go through.

A senior official from the aviation regulator was quoted shedding further light on its plans:

“Now we will do this on a regular basis at night time when the planes are parked. If anything that could affect safety is detected, the planes will be grounded till the airline rectifies the deficiencies.”

The checks have already begun. The DGCA has examined SpiceJet’s entire fleet of 70+ aircraft. They are identifying problems and looking at the most efficient ways to address them. 

The DGCA has communicated with SpiceJet and has made it clear that they will have to spend much more money on cabin upkeep to ensure safety across all flight operations. 

The DGCA appears to be dedicated and uncompromisable on its latest mission. They want to ensure that a lack of finances does not create a growing culture of incompetency towards interior maintenance, even if that calls for the grounding of aircraft for extended repairs. Grounding aircraft will likely cause flight delays and cancellations in the midst of the incoming busy summer season but it is a compromise DGCA is willing to make in the name of safety and a better flight experience. 

What do you think about DGCA’s adamance to maintain and uphold quality and safety on Indian aircraft? Have you flown on an inadequate Spicejet or Air India aircraft? Let us know in the comments. 

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