The aviation regulator has threatened to stop operations of budget carriers IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir to Patna and Jammu airports after serious safety violations emerged in a surprise inspection conducted by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) officials on Wednesday.
DGCA inspection revealed that all three airlines were operating full-capacity flights to the two airports which fall under the “critical” airports category because of short runway length. As a result, operations have to be carried as per safety norms laid down by DGCA which stipulate a regulated take-off weight with a payload penalty of 15%-20%.
“The inspection revealed that IndiGo and GoAir were operating with full payloads while SpiceJet had just two empty seats,” an official said.
When DGCA chief Prabhat Kumar asked for last 15 days manifest of the three airlines, they were found to be operating with almost full capacity on all days. “Ideally, for a 180-seater jet there should be no more than 150 passengers on board,” the official said.
Pilots were also found to be unaware of the dos and don’ts and standard operating procedures when questioned by the DGCA inspection team led by Joint DG Lalit Gupta.
Kumar has issued notice to CEO’s of the three airlines giving them time till Saturday evening to rectify the deficiencies otherwise the DGCA would stop their operations. “If the airlines have overbooked, they will have to cancel the bookings and bring it within permissible limits,” the official said.
No comments were received from the airlines till the time of going to press.