A total of 353 spot checks were carried out across aircraft by India’s civil aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), between May 2 and July 13, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, VK Singh, told the Rajya Sabha on Monday. Of these, 115 were on operational aircraft of SpiceJet.

According to him, between May 2 and June 6, spot checks were carried out on 62 operational aircraft of SpiceJet’s fleet, while 53 more spot checks were carried out between July 9 and July 13.

“Spicejet has experienced a series of occurrences during the operation of their aircraft fleet due to leading to malfunction of components, bad weather, bird strikes etc. Consequently, special audits and inspections, spot checks, and night surveillance have been conducted by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and it has been ensured that the observations are addressed by the airline,” Singh said.

The second set of spot checks, from July 9–13, were carried out on 48 of SpiceJet’s aircraft. Although these checks did not raise any significant findings or safety violations, the DGCA “as a safety measure” ordered the airline to release “certain identified aircraft for operations only after confirming that all reported defects or malfunctions are rectified”. Around 10 aircraft were identified.

As a further measure, the DGCA restricted Spicejet to operating at 50 per cent of the number of departures, approved under summer schedule 2022, for a period of eight weeks, he added.

Only one “incident of accident involving aircraft” was reported so far in 2022 and it involved a Spicejet aircraft, data presented by the Union Minister said.

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