DGCA slaps 30 lakh fine on IndiGo for frequent tail strikes as audit shows 'systemic deficiencies'

New Delhi, July 28 (IANS): After conducting a special audit prompted by concerns over IndiGo Airlines' frequent tail strike incidents, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has imposed a fine of Rs 30 lakh on the airline.

The audit revealed "systemic deficiencies" in IndiGo's documentation and procedures.

Within a six-month period this year, the airline encountered four tail strikes on their A321 aircraft, leading to the regulatory action.

Moreover, the DGCA has directed IndiGo to make necessary amendments to their documents and procedures in accordance with DGCA requirements and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) guidelines.

"IndiGo Airlines experienced four tail strike incidents on their A321 aircraft within a span of six months in the year 2023. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) conducted a special audit of IndiGo Airlines, reviewing their documentation and procedures on operations, training, engineering, and FDM (Flight Data Monitoring) programme," said the aviation watchdog in a statement issued on Friday.

"During the special audit, certain systemic deficiencies were observed in IndiGo Airlines' documentation pertaining to operations/training procedures and engineering procedures," it said.

"The DGCA issued a show cause notice to IndiGo Airlines, directing them to submit a reply within the stipulated time period. The reply was reviewed at various levels and was not found satisfactory," said the DGCA.

"Subsequently, DGCA has imposed a financial penalty of Rs 30 lakh on IndiGo Airlines and also directed them to amend their documents and procedures in line with DGCA requirements and OEM guidelines," it said.

Recently, the DGCA had suspended the license of an IndiGo captain for a duration of three months and the co-pilot for one month following an incident involving a tail strike during landing at Ahmedabad airport.

The suspension comes as a stern response to the aviation accident that occurred on June 15, where flight 6E6595 en route from Bengaluru to Ahmedabad experienced a tail strike upon landing.