IndiGo Faces DGCA's Wrath Over Tail Strikes And SOP Violations

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) slapped a ₹30 lakh fine on IndiGo Airlines for incurring four instances of ‘tail strikes’ within six months in 2023. Tail strikes happen when the aeroplane’s tail hits the runway during take-off or landing.

What Happened? The DGCA stated in a press release shared with PTI that it had conducted a special audit of IndiGo’s operations, training, engineering, and Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) procedures, discovering several systemic deficiencies. IndiGo’s handling of these procedures was not up to standard, leading to the fine.

The DGCA had issued a show cause notice to IndiGo, demanding a response within a specified time. After evaluating IndiGo’s reply, the DGCA found it unsatisfactory and imposed a financial penalty.

IndiGo has been directed to revise its documentation and procedures in accordance with DGCA and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) guidelines.

Pilot License Suspensions: In a separate action, the DGCA suspended the licenses of the pilot and co-pilot from an IndiGo flight travelling from Bengaluru to Ahmedabad, which experienced a tail strike.

The DGCA accused the pilots of violating aviation rules and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). After investigating the incident, the DGCA discovered that the crew had not followed established landing norms. As a result, the DGCA suspended the pilot-in-command’s license for three months and the co-pilot’s for a month.

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