Monday, October 24, 2016

Next time pilots, airlines goof up, they may have to pay uo to Rs 1 crore: DGCA

Mumbai: In a move that will give more power to aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will soon be allowed to penalise pilots and airlines found violating aviation safety norms by imposing fines and going beyond just suspension or cancellation of permissions.

Presently, the DGCA only debars, suspends and sometimes cancels permission to fly for airlines, individual pilots or engineers who err on the wrong side but is not allowed to impose any monetary penalty. Civil aviation secretary R N Choubey confirmed the government’s plans to amend the Aircraft Act, 1934 to give more teeth to the DGCA.

There will be stringent fines on hard landings, violations of controlled air space and other mistakes a pilot could commit. Currently, a refresher course is all a pilot needs to get back to flying.

“Currently, there is no provision to levy penalties. This should be allowed to happen,” Choubey said, adding that the government supported stringent provisions in place for the DGCA to deal with violations at various levels, including those related to airlines, pilots, crew members and other entities.

“Now, if there is any irregularity the licence of the entire airline is suspended for some time. This is an extreme punishment and there is no provision for anything in between,” Choubey said. “We are saying that unless something is very severe, there should be a provision for levying a fine.”
24/10/16 Aditya Anand/Mumbai Mirror