Friday, October 02, 2020

Indian aviation regulator recruits more inspectors as downgrade fears loom

 India’s aviation sector is staring at a potential downgrade as its regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), continues to function with just half the number of safety personnel it needs.

The International Civil Aviation Organization, the UN’s aviation safety regulator, is expected to audit the DGCA in January 2021. Because of the staff shortage, the audit could lead to a downgrade and affect expansion plans of Indian carriers.

The total number of posts sanctioned by the DGCA for the flight operations inspectors is 75. Currently, the DGCA has 35 inspectors and 40 vacancies, and the government is in the process of filling the open positions, Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri said in a written reply in parliament.

Flight operations inspectors are pilots recruited by the DGCA for safety oversight. They are mostly on deputation or are hired on contract.

The DGCA relieved 33 of its 67 inspectors in July after their contracts expired. Of the 33, 15 were working at DGCA headquarters in Delhi, eight were manning the northern region, four were in the western region, and six were in Bengaluru in the south.

01/10/20 South Florida Times

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