Friday, August 16, 2013

Aviation ministry fears exodus of air traffic controllers puts travellers at risk

Over 60 air traffic controllers trained for manning air traffic control towers at Indian airports have quit their jobs as part of a fresh exodus this year taking the shortage of staff for this vital function to over 400 and raising serious concern over the safety of air travel in the country.
Civil aviation ministry officials said the matter concerning shortage of air traffic control officers (ATCOs) could pose a major problem again as it has been red flagged by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the US Federal Aviation Administration.
Representatives of ICAO are coming to India on August 19 for another inspection and this will be followed by a visit of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) team early next month to assess India's aviation preparedness.
These two regulatory organisations had earlier warned the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on the shortage of staff and directed that the number of ATCOs should be increased as there was an increase in "air incidents."
Surprisingly most of these air traffic controllers (ATCOs) have now switched to jobs with telecom companies, banks and the IT sector which offer better pay packages.
15/08/13 Sanjay Singh/Mail Online India