Airlines in India have reported 478 technical snags between July 1 2021 and June 30, 2022, the central government said on July 28.
Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M. Scindia in a response in the Lok Sabha said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has carried out a total of 177 surveillance, 497 spot checks, and 169 night surveillance on engineering and maintenance aspects of scheduled operators during the last one year.
As per the DGCA, an aircraft may experience technical snags due to malfunctioning components/ equipment fitted on the aircraft which require rectification action by the airlines for continued safe, efficient, and reliable air transport service.
The response from the minister comes at a time when a number of technical malfunctions have been reported on flights of Indian airlines.
The DGCA earlier this week attributed the increase in the frequency of technical glitches to COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns that impacted airline operations, according to an Indian Express report.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
"There is a universal problem of manpower shortage after COVID-19, not just with one airline or one country," DGCA chief Arun Kumar said.
The DGCA began a special audit of commercial airlines last week. As part of the audit, the DGCA is studying the availability of manpower, facilities, and equipment, in addition to aircraft grounded on account of the non-availability of spares.
The DGCA on July 27 also restricted domestic budget carrier SpiceJet's flights to 50 percent of departures approved under the summer schedule.