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Days after SpiceJet planes reported at least eight technical malfunction incidents in 18 days, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation V K Singh on Monday said that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) did not find any major safety violations during spot checks on SpiceJet aircraft.

As many as 53 spot checks were conducted by the aviation regulator on 48 SpiceJet aircrafts between July 9 and July 13, informed the minister.

Singh in his written reply in the Rajya Sabha, said that as a safety measure, the DGCA has ordered SpiceJet to use certain identified aircraft for operations only after confirming to the regulator that all reported defects/malfunctions are rectified.

SpiceJet planes were involved in technical malfunction incidents since June 19, following which the DGCA had issued a show-cause notice to the airline on July 6, stating that ‘poor internal safety oversight’ and ‘inadequate maintenance actions’ have led to degradation of safety margins.

According to the minister, the regulator started conducting spot checks on SpiceJet planes just three days after issuing the notice.

He further told the Upper House of Parliament that the regulator's safety oversight process includes a series of successive follow up steps which involves communication of observations or findings to the airlines for taking corrective action, review of corrective action taken by the airlines for taking a decision, and initiating enforcement action consisting of warning, suspension, cancellation or imposition of financial penalty to the person or the airline involved.

The DGCA in its July 6 notice to SpiceJet said that the airline has failed to ‘establish safe, efficient and reliable air services’ under the the Aircraft Rules, 1937.

The notice said that the review of the incidents transpires that poor internal safety oversight and inadequate maintenance actions (as most of the incidents were related to either component failure or system-related failure) have resulted in degradation of the safety margins.

The airline was given three weeks time to respond to the notice.

As per officials, the DGCA had on July 19 started a 2-month-long special audit of all Indian carriers after its spot checks earlier this month found that insufficient and unqualified engineering personnel are certifying carriers' planes before their departure.

On July 5, a SpiceJet freighter aircraft, heading to Chongqing in China, returned to Kolkata as the pilots after taking off realised that its weather radar was not working.

The same day, the airline’s Delhi-Dubai flight was diverted to Karachi due to a malfunctioning fuel indicator and its Kandla-Mumbai flight had to make priority landing in Mumbai after they discovered cracks on its windshield mid-air.

On July 2, a SpiceJet flight heading to Jabalpur returned to Delhi after the crew members observed smoke in the cabin at an altitude of around 5,000 feet.

on June 24 and June 25, fuselage door warnings lit up on two separate SpiceJet planes while taking off , forcing the aircraft to return.

On June 19, an engine on the carrier’s Delhi-bound aircraft carrying 185 passengers, made an emergency landing soon after it caught fire after taking off from the Patna airport as the engine had malfunctioned because of a bird hit.

The sane day, a SpiceJet flight bound for Jabalpur had to return to Delhi due to cabin pressurisation issues.

Planes of other airlines have also reported technical malfunction incidents during the last 45 days.

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