DGCA serves airline with show cause for endangering passengers, officials deny having suspended the pilots
Four days since a Spice Jet’s crew conducted mid-air Holi celebrations aboard a Goa-Bangalore flight, doubts have been raised over the action taken.
Even as the airline claimed to have de-rostered the pilot and co-pilot after since they have purportedly been suspended by the Director General of Civil Aviation, DGCA officials have denied that the body had placed anyone on suspension. The DGCA has launched a probe and serve a show cause notice on SpiceJet for endangering passengers’ lives. Sources in the airline expressed surprise that no action has been taken against upper management officials who were reportedly aware of the revelry plans. Field Operations Inspectors are responsible for overseeing the safety and security of flights. “These pilots are often biased towards their own airline and continue as FOIs for more than the stipulated period with no action being taken by the DGCA on this aspect. What happened in the case of the SpiceJet flight on March 17 was that these FOIs failed to perform their task and ensure the safety of the passengers. But no action has been taken against them by the DGCA or the airline management, which has targeted the pilots who were not even part of the celebrations on board the aircraft,'' a private airline pilot told The Hindu.
Experts are of the view that DGCA investigations need to be directed towards the performance and conduct of FOIs, not only in the case of SpiceJet but also other airlines. A comprehensive view needs to be taken to ensure that Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) are followed in a dedicated manner and not done casually as is the case at present.