aviation | IST

    DGCA to continue spot checks for unserviceable seats

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    Following these incidents, the regulator had carried out a thorough inspection over a period of one month where the regulator had found minor deficiencies in the aircraft maintenance across nearly 250 aircraft of the domestic airlines.

    The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will continue conducting spot checks, night surveillance, and inspection of aircraft for unserviceable seats, senior officials told CNBC-TV18.
    The issues related to aircraft maintenance had come into focus in the month of May after a series of incidents were reported whereby passengers had complained of several deficiencies in the aircraft cabin including broken seat handles, torn seat covers, and defects in window panels among others.
    Following these incidents, the regulator had carried out a thorough inspection over a period of one month where the regulator had found minor deficiencies in the aircraft maintenance across nearly 250 aircraft of the domestic airlines.
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    Largely, the deficiencies were found in the older fleet of SpiceJet and Air India, officials said, adding that the key areas of defects were related to unserviceable seats, defects in door panels, and incomplete maintenance records.
    While the airlines were able to immediately act on the regulator's intervention and address the concerns raised, officials believe that such spot checks with a sole focus on serviceable seats and aircraft maintenance are to continue over the near term.
    For a proactive approach, officials are also keeping a close eye on the passenger complaints posted on social media platforms, and action is taken immediately on concerns raised regarding the condition of the aircraft cabin.
    The regulator had also recently written to airlines that unserviceable seats are not only causing inconvenience to the travelers but also inviting a serious safety concern.
    "It may please be noted that as per Sub Rule (2) of Rule 53 of The Aircraft Rule 1937, all materials including aircraft seats shall conform to approved design specifications. The installation of any part failing to meet the intended design requirements, degrades the requirements of airworthiness," the regulator had told the airlines.
    The regulator had also advised airlines to only take bookings for the serviceable seats which meet the approved design specification and had warned that any non-compliance will be viewed seriously.
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