The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has initiated a special audit of Indian air carriers to investigate aspects of aircraft maintenance processes in the country. The decision was made following multiple aircraft incident reports related to technical malfunctions inflight which the Indian regulator received during the last 45 days.

The special audit will focus on various aspects of plane maintenance, including the qualification of personnel and daily processes in airlines' facilities, such as hangars. The DGCA will also inspect whether local airlines properly follow various aviation regulations related to duty time limitations of engineering personnel and will conduct a detailed inspection of their quality assurance system and maintenance control centers.

According to Business Standard, the detailed two-month-long audit follows several other DGCA spot checks that the regulator completed earlier in July 2022. DGCA has issued an order to carriers regarding an increase in engineering issues after spot checks had shown carriers were failing to properly identify causes of reported plane defects or even employ properly qualified aircraft engineers to solve technical issues at airports.

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Several Indian airlines, such as GoFirst, SpiceJet, Air India Express, IndiGo, and others, have come under increased scrutiny by the DGCA after a number of aircraft were involved in incidents recently.

During the checks inspectors also found cases of airline personnel breaching safety requirements and aircraft maintenance procedures. The regulator said in the order that it has noticed a significant increase of instances where aircraft are released to fly with a minimum equipment list (MEL), which allows airlines to operate an aircraft temporarily when certain of ts functions or equipment are inoperative.

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