A total of 18 emergency landings were reported by various airlines in India during the last two years, the Civil Aviation ministry told the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
Recently on July 2, a plane operating from Delhi to Jabalpur was forced to return after the crew noticed smoke in the cabin while passing at 5000 ft. No untoward incident was reported and the passengers disembarked safely after emergency landing.
Similarly, a Calicut-Dubai flight was diverted to Muscat and made an emergency landing on July 16 after a burning smell was observed in the cabin mid-air.
Aviation regulator the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued the Air Operator Permit (AOP) to the airline on compliance with laid down Civil Aviation Requirements (CARs) which require the airline to have their own maintenance organisation approved or have arrangement with an approved maintenance organisation for maintaining their aircraft in a continuous state of airworthiness.
The responsibility for the maintenance of the aircraft lies with the airline which is required to ensure that aircraft is maintained as per the maintenance programme prepared based on instruction of the manufacturer and approved by DGCA.
Airline/operators are also responsible for ensuring that the required qualified and experienced manpower, equipment and spares including maintenance data is available for maintaining the aircraft, said the Aviation ministry in a reply in the Lower House.
DGCA ensures that the airline and the maintenance organisation continue to comply with the regulatory requirements against which they have been initially approved through a system of surveillance, audits, spot checks, night surveillance etc. and in case of the non-compliances, DGCA ensures that rectification is taken by the airlines/ maintenance organisation.
DGCA initiates enforcement actions against organisation, personnel in case violations are found which may include warning, suspension, or cancellation of approval, authorisation, permit or license including imposition of financial penalty.