NEW DELHI: The Director General of Civil Aviation(DGCA), more often than not, has had to make a difficult choice between ignoring influential businessmen and overlooking the safety of the aircraft. However, the recently conducted audit of airlines has made it amply evident as to which way the DGCA pendulum had swung. In fact, the audit brought to the fore many safety violations in the country’s aviation sector.
“Airlines file monthly compliance reports which highlight safety issues. Even if the DGCA ignored that, there were the Flight Inspectors’ Surveillance reports. In fact the ambitious Annual Surveillance Programme launched by the DGCA was a regular audit of the airlines that brought to light many violations that were viewed seriously by the DGCA itself. However, little was done about them,” an aviation expert told the Express.
The audit also revealed that several airlines had failed to adhere to the mandatory reporting of incidents, that comes under the Air Safety circular in Section 5 of Civil Aviation requirements.
“The corrupt officers in the DGCA have written off these incidents as snags,” a pilot, familiar with the goings-on at the DGCA establishment, said. Echoing similar views, a flight instructor with the national airline, the Air India, said it was strange that no pilot or airline had yet been charged with FDTL violation. He alleged that the omissions were deliberately overlooked by the DGCA officials.
“FDTL violation under the amended Act carries a punishment of six months and/or Rs 5 lakh fine. Why no pilot/company has been charged and judged guilty till date? AI Express flies Dubai- Trichy-Singapore regularly and each sector takes more than 4 hours. But they are told to log less than 8 hours. It is not that DGCA is not aware.”