Aviation regulator DGCA has started a 2-month-long special audit of airlines after its spot checks earlier this month found that insufficient and unqualified engineering personnel are certifying planes before their departure, officials said.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) conducted the spot checks as there have been many technical malfunction incidents in Indian carriers’ planes during the last 45 days. The focus of the aforementioned special audit will be facilities like hangars and stores, equipment being used by airline personnel, airlines’ quality assurance system, aircraft grounded due to lack of spare parts and airlines’ maintenance control centre, a DGCA order dated July 18 stated.
The special audit will also focus on availability of “sufficient, suitably qualified and experienced” manpower, duty time limitations, availability of current maintenance data for all types of aircraft, adequacy of aircraft turn-around time during transit and “multiple MEL releases”, as per the order.
“MEL (minimum equipment list) releases” means an aircraft is allowed to fly with certain inoperative equipment or instruments for a specific period of time, until the repairs are done.
There have been reports of increased engineering related occurrences in scheduled airlines in recent times,” the order mentioned.
The order said the special audit of all scheduled airlines is starting from July 19 in order to ensure that they are adhering to the “laid down standards”. The DGCA officials said the special audit will be completed within the next two months.