Saturday, August 22, 2020

An Experienced Investigator Should Head Probe In Kozhikode Crash: Former Director-General, DGCA

After an Air India Express aircraft overshot the runway and landed into a gorge leading to 18 deaths including both the pilots, air safety experts have questioned the role of the aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), for failing to ensure that the Calicut airport complied with all safety norms.

Experts also raise doubts on the post-crash investigation process as India’s apex air accident investigation body, Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB), saying it lacks manpower and expertise. For instance, the investigator-in-charge for Calicut accident, allege experts, has no experience in investigation.

GR Kathpalia, who served as DG in DGCA for eight years between 1977 to 1985, belongs to the era when officers with vast experience and knowledge in aviation were considered for the top post.

Before being appointed as DG, he held various crucial positions in DGCA for 22 years and even worked as Engineering Instructor at Civil Aviation Training Centre, Allahabad, in the initial years of his career. National Airports Authority, Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd and Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy at Fursatganj were created on the basis of his recommendations to the government.

Agreeing with several experts, Kathpalia, in an interview with Outlook, says that just being an experienced aviator is not sufficient to become an investigator.
Read Jeevan Prakash Sharma's interview of  GR KathpaliaExcerpts >>

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