DGCA issues notice to IndiGo over handling of PW engine snags, orders safety audit


NEW DELHI: India’s aviation safety regulator has ordered a safety audit of IndiGo to see the airline’s handling of unending snags on Pratt & Whitney’s (PW) engines for the Airbus A320 Neo. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA‘s) move comes after it suspected if the airline was reporting all snags on the Airbus A320’s new engine option PW engines and whether the handling of the same by the LCC’s engineering and operations was as per requirement. The regulator has issued a show cause to the airline on this issue.

DGCA chief B S Bhullar said: “We do detailed audit of all airlines at least once in a year. Indigo (audit) is this month. Some other (airline will be audited) in June. Every audit involves some actions.”

An IndiGo spokesperson said: “We confirm that there is currently a DGCA audit on IndiGo which is combined with the annual main base audit. IndiGo has received a limited number of show cause notices. IndiGo has responded accordingly and we can only comment on this matter after we have a discussion with DGCA… We can confirm that IndiGo operation is running in even more stringent ways as prescribed by regulatory framework. As this is an ongoing audit we can only comment after the process is over.”

Sources say IndiGo’s engineering and operations will be under the scanner in this safety audit. “We have to check if the airline’s pilots are under-reporting the issues and whether engineering is rectifying the snags satisfactorily. The doubts arose after we came across two cases of under-reporting (of magnitude of snags),” said sources.

Two Indian carriers — IndiGo and GoAir — use PW-powered A320 Neos. DGCA has already asked these two airlines to “create awareness among cabin and cockpit crew (pilots) about odour/burning smell/smoke (even if slightest) during approach phase and positive reporting to cockpit crew for necessary action…. Log all the cases detecting odours/ smoke in cabin during operation for necessary investigation and rectification. In all odour/smoke cases, engine to be inspected in detail and to be used only after rectification of defect.”

Both IndiGo and GoAir get hefty compensations from PW when aircraft are grounded due to engine trouble.

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