New Delhi: After frequent engineering-related glitches were reported in several airlines, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) conducted several spot checks and advised that all aircraft at base and transit stations shall be released by certifying staff holding a licence with appropriate authorization by their organization, said officials on Monday.
The DGCA mentioned that there have been reports of increased engineering-related occurrences in scheduled airlines in recent times. In order to ensure that airlines are adhering to the laid down standards, DGCA has conducted several spot checks in the recent past. The spot checks carried out by DGCA teams have indicated the improper identification of the cause of a reported defect, increasing trend of minimum equipment list (MEL) releases and non-availability of required certifying staff to cater to multiple scheduled arrivals/ departures in a short interval.
“It is also seen that airlines are resorting to frequent one-off authorisation to Category A certifying staff at transit stations which is not in line with existing regulatory provisions. Keeping the above in view, it has been decided that all aircraft at base and transit stations shall be released by certifying staff holding Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) Category B1/B2 licence with appropriate authorization by their organization,” read the letter.
“The airlines are therefore advised to position certifying staff (AME Category B1/B2 licence) at all base and transit stations including the availability of required tools and equipment. Alternatively, you may opt for sending the certifying staff on flight duties. The compliance with the above shall be ensured by July 28, 2022, under intimation to their office,” added the letter.
The move comes after several instances were reported in the country where flights were diverted citing safety or functioning issues. An Air India Express aircraft while operating from Calicut to Dubai was diverted to Muscat after a burning smell was observed from one of the vents in the forward galley of the flight on Saturday. A senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) confirmed that the Air India Express B737-800 aircraft VT-AXX operating flight IX-355 (Calicut-Dubai) was diverted to Muscat as, during Cruise, a burning smell came from one of the vents in the forward galley.”
“Crew carried out a non-normal checklist for smoke fire or fumes and diverted to Muscat and landed safely,” he said. The official also told that the on-ground engineering inspections were carried out as a relevant task of the Fault Isolation Manual. He said that the Engine Ground run was carried out with both the ENGINE and auxiliary power unit (APU) operating.
Another Indian flight, a Hyderabad-bound IndiGo airliner from Sharjah was diverted to Pakistan’s Karachi airport after the pilot reported a technical defect. “IndiGo flight 6E-1406, operating from Sharjah to Hyderabad was diverted to Karachi. The pilot observed a technical defect. Necessary procedures were followed and as a precaution, the aircraft was diverted to Karachi,” IndiGo said in a press release.
It further added that an additional flight will be sent to Karachi to fly the passengers to Hyderabad. Notably, this is the second Indian Airline to make a precautionary landing in Karachi in 2 weeks. The Union Minister had earlier chaired a high-level meeting with senior officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) over air safety after three emergency landings at airports in the country in the last 48 hours.