Tuesday, July 19, 2022

DGCA asks airlines to depute engineers at all airports

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered airlines to ensure qualified engineers are present at all airports to clear flights before departure after it discovered that technical glitches were being incorrectly identified and reported and airlines were relying heavily on junior engineers.

The latest order follows a meeting held by Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia on aviation safety issues following incidents on IndiGo, Air India Express, Vistara and SpiceJet. DGCA had already served a show-cause notice earlier this month on SpiceJet. The minister has sought stepping up of safety oversight on airlines.

“All aircraft base and transit stations shall be released by certifying staff holding AME [Aircraft Maintenance Engineer] Category B1/ B2 licence with appropriate authorisation by their organisation,” the DGCA order says. It adds that airlines may either position AMEs at base and transit stations or fly them to smaller stations as staff-on-duty.

The aviation safety regulator’s latest instruction follows spot checks it conducted, where it discovered “improper identification of cause of a reported defect and non-availability of required certifying staff to cater to multiple-scheduled arrivals/ departures”. The DGCA said that it has also noticed that airlines were frequently seeking relief from the mandatory requirement that all equipment on aircraft be operative.

AMEs are authorised to clear aircraft before every departure and upon rectification of technical problems by issuing a certificate for release to service. B1 category of AMEs carry out mechanical engineering works involving airframe and engine and B2 category engineers carry out work related to avionics like electrical elements, radio and navigation.

19/07/22 The Hindu

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