New Delhi: In a series of surprise checks over the week, the aviation regulator has grounded three aircraft belonging to domestic operators such as Air India.

According to a senior official with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) the three grounded three aircraft include two A320s and one Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) belonging to Air India, GoAir and a non-scheduled private operator (NSOP).

Substantive safety lapses were found in the aircraft, the official told IANS.

Till now in the year, DGCA has conducted 55 surprise checks leading to the grounding of 14 aircraft.

The development assumes significance as in January the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) downgraded the safety ranking of India’s DGCA.

The DGCA was downgraded under the pretext that the regulator does not meet international safety standards laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in areas such as adequate manpower for inspections and safety checks of aircraft.

Currently, India is downgraded to category-II in terms of safety related aspects of its civil aviation operations.

The DGCA has been trying to improve its safety audit and has been conducting surprise checks ever since.

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