Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Have separate regulator for ATCs, ICAO tells India post audit of country's aviation

New Delhi: The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has recommended that air navigation services (ATC) which provide air traffic controllers should come under a separate regulatory agency. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is the parent body of ANS as well as the regulatory agency for the ATCs and the UN’s aviation agency wants some other agency like the DGCA to be the regulator for the same.
The recommendation comes after ICAO had audited Indian aviation under its universal safety oversight audit programme from November 6 to 16, 2017, and then raised questions over the “regulatory framework” for ATC. The concern had stemmed from the fact that AAI — the parent organisation for ATC — is going to issue licences to ATCOs. That is akin to an airline issuing licences to its own pilots. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issues pilot licences and professionals licensed by this independent regulator can then work for airlines.
“The ICAO audit has once again established the DGCA’s safety record. Such audits have two parts — serious safety concerns and general observation. In India’s case, no serious safety concern has been raised in the ICAO audit. The one big suggestion made by ICAO is for having a separate regulator for ANS instead of AAI. For the last 70 years, AAI has been providing ANS and regulating it too,” aviation secretary R N Choubey told TOI.
15/05/18 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India