An alert about a loose bolt on a new Boeing 737 Max passenger plane has prompted airlines in India that operate the type to conduct checks to ensure there are no defects that could affect flight safety.
India's aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), is closely monitoring the situation and has been in contact with Akasa, Air India Express and SpiceJet, which operates the plane.
This comes after the US Federal Aviation Administration said it is closely monitoring targeted inspections of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to look for a possible loose bolt in the rudder control system. The plane manufacturer said the problem identified with a particular aircraft had been resolved and had asked the airlines to conduct an inspection of its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation said that it is in contact with its American counterpart and Boeing, and that the checks currently being conducted are part of the regular process to ensure aviation safety.
“This has been an ongoing issue with the Max 737 and these are the service bulletins that Boeing issues from time to time to airline operators to take suggested action whenever any issue arises. We have been in contact with Boeing, the FAA and our airline operators,” the DGCA said in a statement. “Also in the past regarding such issues related to the 737 MAX.”
“In such cases, mitigation as recommended by the original equipment manufacturers is implemented by the airline operator as was done in the past with regard to the 737 MAX,” it added.
An Akasa Air spokesperson said Boeing had informed them of the problem. “Like all operators worldwide, and in accordance with our highest safety standards, Akasa will follow the same checks and procedures recommended by the manufacturer or regulator. Our operating fleet and deliveries have not been affected to date,” she said.
An Air India Express spokesperson said: “In accordance with Boeing's global recommendation to all airline operators, Air India Express will inspect its Boeing 737-8 aircraft within the timelines. Our steadfast commitment to safety remains paramount.”
A SpiceJet spokesperson said the new alert will not have any impact on its operations.
Contacted by the airline, NDTV said the inspection takes no more than two hours per aircraft.
The Boeing 737 Max, the manufacturer's fastest-selling plane in history, was grounded worldwide in 2019 after crashes in Indonesia and Jakarta that killed 356 people. The aircraft returned to service in early 2021.
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