Air India May Request DGCA for Soman's Reinstatement

Published: 02nd August 2015 12:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd August 2015 12:19 PM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: National carrier Air India may request aviation regulator DGCA to reconsider its order removing A S Soman from the post of its flight safety chief after discussing the issue tomorrow.

Soman, who was appointed to the post in January, was removed on Friday on the charge that he had failed to preserve the Digital Flight Data Recording (DFDR) for the mandated period. "The airline received the DGCA order only on Friday. The management will discuss the issue (of flight safety chief's removal) on Monday and then take a call accordingly," a senior Air India official said, adding, the aviation regulator may be requested to review its order.

According to regulatory norms, a scheduled airline has to monitor data for every flight and this should be kept in the records for six months. DGCA's approval is mandatory for the appointment of an airline's safety head. The post of safety chief in the government-owned airline is of the level of a director.

Arvind Kathpalia, who heads the training wing, and A K Govil, who supervises the operations, are the two other directors of Air India. The DGCA had sought data for all AI flights to Leh between May 23 and June 25 and its Bengaluru-Hyderabad flight (AI 513) of June 28. A passenger had complained about AI 513 having had a hard touch down in Hyderabad after which it took off again.

Soman, however, reportedly failed to provide the data, contending that the engineering department, which downloads it, had not sent it to the safety department. The aviation regulator found the reply unsatisfactory and removed Soman from the post.

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