Wednesday, November 06, 2019

DGCA likely to license all ATC officers before ’20 ICAO audit

New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) plans to complete licensing of all air traffic control officers (ATCOs) and begin the process for licensing of new recruits ahead of an audit by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), expected early next year.
 “We will license all 2,500 current ATCOs by December,” said a senior DGCA official, who requested not to be named. “We also plan to begin the process of giving licence to trainees.” ICAO had recently asked India to make DGCA licensing authority for ATC officers.
Earlier, Airports Authority of India (AAI), which is also ATC service provider, had been licensing ATCOs. ICAO considered it a conflict of interest for the service provider to be its regulator as well. In fact, India was the only big aviation market where the safety regulator did not have authority to license ATC officers, sources said. India continued with this arrangement for a long time and gave in only after ICAO raised it as a safety concern. This led to India’s air safety oversight score falling below those of its smaller neighbours Myanmar, Bangladesh,
 Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and even North Korea. ICAO now wants to schedule an audit to check the new system for licensing of ATC officers. Dates have not been finalised but official sources said it is likely to be scheduled in early 2020.
 06/11/19 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times
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