Sunday, March 26, 2006

Air safety: PIL before Bombay High Court

New Delhi: Air India has been regularly violating air safety standards with regard to crew training and duty time of pilots, a Parliamentary Consultative Committee member of the Ministry of Civil Aviation has alleged.
Sanjay Raut, a Rajya Sabha member, filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the Bombay High Court on Friday, seeking action against top officials of Air India for wastage of public money and violation of air crew standards. Mr. Raut said that he had raised these issues with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the regulatory body, but it had not responded to him.
Claiming to have done a series of studies regarding the operations of Air India and having access to various documents, Mr. Raut said the approval of the DGCA was mandatory under "Civil Aviation Requirements" (CAR) for pilots to work as instructors, examiners and check pilots. It mandates that to undergo the training to becoming an instructor; the pilot should have a minimum of 1000 hours of command experience.
He said that serious infirmities were noted in Air India recommending certain pilots to the DGCA for approval for commencement of training as instructors. Mr. Raut drew the DGCA's attention to AI's Director (Operations) "perpetually flouting the safety regulations of the DGCA with arrogant impunity."
26/03/06 Vinay Kumar /The Hindu
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