DGCA asks Indian airlines to conduct inspection following Alaska Airlines mid-air mishap

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Saturday (January 6, 2024) issued a directive to Indian air operators, directing them to immediately conduct a one-time inspection of emergency exits on all Boeing 737-8 Max aircraft currently in operation within their fleets, media reports said.

This directive came after an incident in an Alaska Airlines flight, carrying 174 passengers and six crew members, which had to make an emergency landing due to the mid-air blowout of an exit door and an adjacent unoccupied seat, reported India Today.

Despite the incident on the Alaska Airlines flight, Boeing has not provided any specific guidance, said the report.

The aerospace company said it was aware of the situation, adding that it was ready to support the investigation through its technical team.

The affected aircraft, where the exit door and seat malfunction occurred, is a recently manufactured plane that completed assembly just two months ago and obtained certification in November 2023, according to the report.

Following the incident, Alaska Airlines took the precaution of temporarily grounding its entire fleet of Boeing 737-9 aircraft.

CEO Ben Minicucci stated that each aircraft would undergo comprehensive maintenance and safety inspections before being returned to service.

In a related development from last week, Boeing urged airlines to inspect all 737 MAX airplanes for a potential loose bolt in the rudder control system.