Saturday, February 11, 2023

DGCA fines AirAsia India Rs 20 lakh for lapses in pilot proficiency checks

New Delhi: Tata Group AirAsia India (now AIX Connect) has faced regulatory ire after an audit revealed improper pilot checks. Accordingly, the DGCA has fined the low cost carrier Rs 20 lakh; withdrawn its head of training from his position for three months and fined eight examiners Rs 3 lakh each (meaning a total of Rs 24 lakh). The fines collectively add up to Rs 44 lakh.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had carried out a surveillance inspection of the LCC from November 23-25, 2022. “During the inspection, DGCA team observed that a few mandatory exercises of AirAsia India pilots were not done during pilot proficiency check/instrument rating check (which is an International Civil Aviation Organization requirement) as per schedule, resulting in violation of DGCA regulations,” the regulator said in a statement.

An AIX Connect spokesperson said: “We acknowledge that a finding related to training exercises of pilots was observed by the DGCA following the main base inspection in November 2022. Immediate corrective action was taken in coordination with DGCA and additional simulator training sessions to address the gap were implemented. Additionally, we had already conducted these exercises as part of simulator training done beyond the mandated regulatory training requirements. We wish to reiterate that there is no deviation from the safety margins required for our operations. Nonetheless, we are reviewing the DGCA order and are considering making an appeal as per available regulatory provisions.”

Show cause notices were then served to the airline’s accountable manager, head of training and all its designated examiners as to why enforcement action should not be taken against them for lack of oversight of their regulatory obligations. After examining there written replies, the DGCA decided to take enforcement action against the airline.

11/02/23 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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