Saturday, September 14, 2013

US aviation regulator puts Directorate General of Civil Aviation on notice

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has put the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on a 45-day notice after its audit showed that there is lack of coordination in airworthiness and flight operations in the country, which poses risk to the passenger's life.

According to sources, a team of FAA inspectors carried out a five- day inspection this week and found serious flaws in safety preparedness and the manner in which on- job training is imparted to DGCA employees.

If the DGCA fails to put its house in order within 45 days, FAA will downgrade India's air safety rating, sources said. Such a downgrade would eventually lead to Air India and Jet Airways having to go through more rigorous checks at international airports, which could upset flight schedules and inconvenience passengers. It would also pose problems in getting additional flights for domestic carriers to international destinations.

However, a top DGCA official told Mail Today on condition of anonymity on Friday that the FAA representatives " have not observed any major lapse on safety issues". " What they have told us that we need to upgrade our special operations. They have found us lacking in airworthiness and flight operations. We have been put on a 45- day notice. I think there has been some sort of oversight by FAA representatives in this regard. We will soon send them our point of view," the official added.

FAA has pointed out that DGCA lacks adequate skilled manpower for a specific technical work required to monitor air operations, worthiness and safety at DGCA. Instead, it has been upgrading its current staff for this highly technical jobs by giving them training.

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