India’s aviation regulator will hire 100-150 people over the next 6-8 months to bolster air safety oversight through night checks as India’s airline fleet expands, chief executive says from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Arun Kumar. CNBC-TV18 in an exclusive interview.
“At DGCA, we want to say that business and safety are non-negotiable,” Kumar said.
A total of 177 surveillances, 497 spot checks and 169 night surveillances were carried out by the DGCA on the engineering and maintenance aspects of regular operators during the year between July 2021 and June 2022.
Based on violations found during surveillance, spot checks and night surveillance conducted in 2021-22, enforcement action was taken by the DGCA against responsible airline personnel in 21 cases of violations .
“The aircraft is a complex and robust machine with hundreds of components and it is very rigorous to use. India has a very young fleet and their flight dispatch reliability is one of the best in the world. From time to time time, technical issues are possible and a standard operating procedure according to globally approved standards is followed in the event of a technical issue,” Kumar said.
“Passengers affected by diversions or flight delays will not be satisfied, but navigation safety is our priority. According to data from last year, an aircraft sees 0.6 problems per year. There may be 1-2 technical incidents per day in 6,000 flight movements.. A pilot should be alert and observant when it comes to any sign of a technical problem.Often a technical problem indicator may be wrong, but a pilot should respond to it as well as SOP,” Kumar added.
The regulator regularly monitors Indian airlines through an annual monitoring plan, spot checks, night monitoring and cockpit monitoring to ensure that only airworthy planes are in service, Kumar added.
“There is a bit of hype and unnecessary hype around normal occurrences. Many times a missed takeoff or missed approach is actually a safety maneuver and enhances safety. Air travel is absolutely safe and our track record is great,” Kumar said.
The air safety issue has come into focus over the past month after several incidents of technical glitches were reported at airlines including SpiceJet, GoFIRST, IndiGo, Air India, Vistara and Air India Express related to glitches. engine damage, windshield cracks, smoke in the cabin, equipment malfunction among others.
As part of the annual surveillance plan for 2022, the DGAC will carry out 3,700 checks.
First post: STI