Home/ Companies / News/  Turnaround time of flights under DGCA watch to ensure aircraft safety

NEW DELHI : The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is keeping a close watch on the turnaround time at airports for all flights of domestic airlines to prevent technical glitches, two people aware of the development said.

“The move is to ensure there was sufficient time for all engineering checks in line with the global norms," an official in the know said, seeking anonymity.

The DGCA has also devised a method to calculate the flight time on a route, and the turnaround time required at airports for routine inspections between the arrival and departure of a flight to ensure more efficiency in flight operations and to prevent technical glitches, he added.

The turnaround process of an aircraft at an airport is important for the overall efficiency of airlines besides having an impact on revenue generation.

The turnaround process is a joint effort of the ground team as well as flight crew. Besides loading and unloading, aircraft checks involve inspection of the exteriors and interiors. A faster turnaround time ensures that a plane is airbound for more time and, thereby, the window for revenue generation is higher. The turnaround time varies between 30 minutes and 90 minutes depending on onboard services and the distance travelled.

“The aim is to ensure airlines are not cutting corners and the checks are done as per protocol in a time-bound but disciplined manner," the official said.

The regulator had also conducted a special audit of airlines in July-August following a spurt in incidents related to technical glitches. DGCA had said that the primary reason for increased engineering-related incidents was due to insufficient certifying staff who failed to detect faults or defects in aircraft and report it properly. The regulator had then directed the airlines to appoint required type-rated certifying staff at all stations to ensure that any defect in an aircraft is properly rectified before it is certified for operations.

In fact, the regulator had also restricted low-cost airline SpiceJet from operating 100% of its capacity, considering that it did not have adequate staff in its technical and engineering teams. The airline is still operating only up to 50% of its capacity.

The regulator is also assessing the status of pending dues of domestic airlines with aircraft and engine manufacturers with regard to spare parts, a second official said, also requesting anonymity.

The DGCA will also hire 416 additional experts to its own team for enhanced surveillance of the Indian aviation ecosystem.

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Updated: 04 Oct 2022, 12:55 AM IST
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