DGCA reiterates safety assurance, says keeping eye on Airbus Neo aircraft's performance

Last Updated: Sat, Aug 31, 2019 16:37 hrs
Airlines (ANI photo)

New Delhi [India]: After reviewing glitches in performance of the Airbus Neo aircraft, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday reiterated safety assurance, stating that the authority is accountable to risk assessment.

"We have only one agenda and that is safety. We reiterate our assurance. We are keeping a close watch and shall act when warranted," the DGCA said in a statement.

It also submitted that "we are responsible and accountable for our risk assessment and open to all scrutiny and action."

On Wednesday, the DGCA had an urgent meeting with GoAir and Indigo airlines to review the performance of Airbus Neo aircraft following the incidents of glitches were reported, both in-air and on-ground, in the Airbus Neo aircraft used by both these budget carriers.

"Post-induction of A320 Neo aircraft fitted with PW1100G engines into service, following significant technical issues have been experienced on these engines worldwide -- Combustion Chamber distress - Block B and Block C, bearing Pre-Mod and Post-Mod failures, N2 transient vibration, Low-Pressure Turbine (LPT) failure, HPC (High-Pressure Compressor) rear knife-edge seal failures, and gear-box failures," DGCA had said in a statement.

"While the issues related to Combustion Chamber Distress, Bearing Seal failures, and HPC Rear Knife Edge seal failures have been addressed by taking suitable mitigation measures, the manufacturer is in the process of implementing mitigation actions in gearbox failure, LPT failure, and engine vibration," it had added.

The aviation watchdog had said that about 40 per cent of the domestic seat capacity of India is powered by Neo engines and any knee-jerk reaction to completely shut their operations will have serious consequences.

"DGCA is continuously monitoring the performance of these engines and taking appropriate proactive measures as and when required including the grounding of aircraft in the interest of safety and further remedial measure if necessitated, will be taken," it had said.

It stated that the manufacturer has been directed to ensure more availability of spare engines for Indian operators to prevent grounding of aircraft due to removal of engines.

"DGCA assures all its stakeholders that we...will take the harshest action, should the need arise," the statement added.