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ICAO denies claims of auditing SpiceJet; says no such exercise was carried in India

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on Tuesday said that it did not audit any airline during its visit to India between November 9 and November 16. The agency said the visit was to verify the effectiveness of the country’s civil aviation authority’s safety oversight.

The statement followed SpiceJet’s claim regarding an ‘exhaustive audit’. The carrier on December 5 claimed that ICAO team had visited its head office for an ‘exhaustive audit’.

SpiceJet in its statement last week said, “SpiceJet operations, safety processes and systems have been found to be in order following an exhaustive audit conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The comprehensive audit by ICAO firmly establishes SpiceJet’s credentials.”

The ICAO in response posted a statement on Twitter by its communications officer William Raillant-Clark which read, “ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) team performed an ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) to India from 9 to 16 November 2022. The objective of an ICVM is to validate progress in addressing the findings from previous USOAP activities.”

Leaving the airline’s name out of the clarification, William said the ICAO conducts industry visits to verify the effectiveness of the civil aviation authority’s safety oversight. “This will include visits to multiple operators. ICAO wishes to clarify that visits to operators are not audits or inspections at all,” he noted.

SpiceJet has not responded to the clarification as of now.

SpiceJet services were capped at half in July by India’s aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation after a string of air safety incidents were reported. The regulator also put the carrier under enhanced surveillance comprising audits and safety checks.

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