Thursday, September 22, 2022

As fleets grow, DGCA to hire 400 in efforts to bolster surveillance

India’s civil aviation regulator will hire more than 400 employees in different capacities to bolster its surveillance capability, according to people aware of the plan, as Indian airlines increase their fleet size to match the pickup in demand for air travel amid the easing of pandemic restrictions.

The finance ministry has given clearance to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to hire permanent staff for about 410 posts, the highest in a decade, the people cited earlier told ET, requesting not to be named.

A senior government official said that while the number of commercial planes of Indian airlines has nearly doubled since 2014, the regulator has not created new permanent job posts since 2014 to handle the increased workload due to more aircraft and increased flight frequencies, including those of foreign airlines.

“The last time DGCA saw fresh hiring in full-time positions was in 2014, immediately after the US aviation regulator FAA had downgraded India,” the official said. “While the number of aircraft has increased from 400 in 2014 to 700 now, no fresh positions have been created in the DGCA.”

The DGCA has around 1,300 employees. Of these, 634 work in the departments that look into flight safety and airworthiness of the 700 commercial aircraft. In comparison, the US aviation regulator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has around 45,000 technical staff for 7,700 commercial planes, or six people per aircraft.

According to an estimate by the aviation ministry, Indian airlines are likely to add, on average, 100 aircraft every year as they look to rebuild their businesses after Covid-19. Domestic air traffic in India grew by 64% year-on-year in August 2022, with 11 million flyers taking the sky, according to the DGCA.

The recruitments at the DGCA, which will be done through the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), will be for positions in flight safety, air worthiness, training and the standards department.

Foreign auditors, including the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and FAA, have often pointed out in their audit of Indian aviation safety preparedness that the DGCA is under staffed and lacks adequate trained workforce for surveillance.

During the FAA's audit last year, the regulator had filled up positions of 47 flight operation inspectors and 35 consultants in the air worthiness department. But the positions of consultants are not permanent in nature.

22/09/22 Arindam Majumder/Economic Times

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment