29 Jul 2022

No compromise on passenger safety: Minister against repeated flight snags!

Safety of passengers is paramount and there can be no compromise in this regard, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on the repeated technical hiccups experienced by domestic airlines.
Several incidents have been reported this year that have forced aircraft to either turn back to their home station or land at their destination with reduced safety margins.

"We have taken decisive action, (regulator) DGCA has conducted spot checks and audits and several measures have been taken," the civil aviation minister said at a briefing.

A total of 478 technical problems were reported in the last year - July 2021 - June 2022, the minister informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply on Thursday.

"These technical glitches are reported by the flight crew when they receive an audio/visual warning in the cockpit or an indication of a malfunctioning/faulty system or when they have difficulty controlling/operating the aircraft," he further said.

The DGCA on Wednesday ordered SpiceJet to operate a maximum of 50 per cent of its flights for eight weeks after several of its planes recently reported a technical fault.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Director General Arun Kumar told ANI on Thursday that aircraft systems are reasonably robust and have multiple redundancies, but failure of components does not pose a threat to passenger safety.

"We are extremely proud of our pilots, who handle occasional malfunctions with appropriate competence," said the head of the civil aviation regulator.

When asked what was the main reason for these technical hiccups and whether it had forced the regulator to reassess the extent to which it had compromised passenger safety, he said it was "unscientific" to expect no component failures despite the necessary maintenance work. and naive".

The plane is a complex machine with thousands of components and can continue to be used for air traffic provided it meets airworthiness requirements, he said.

Aviation is a highly process-driven industry and is the safest mode of transportation worldwide. In 2021 and 2022, India had no fatal accident.

Further, when asked if planes that remained inoperative for long periods during Covid were the underlying reasons for these hiccups, he said it was possible.

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