We have fetched approvals from the government for 75 posts flight operations inspector in the DGCA. We will start the recruitment drive by next month and complete it by March-end, said a DGCA official, who did not want to be identified. The official further explained that this will resolve concerns raised in the audits (by ICAO and FAA) held last year. There are 750 planes operating in the country and we will have one FOI for every ten planes. With these recruitments, we have resolved all concerns raised by the ICAO and FAA, the official added.
The audits, held in September and December last year, had raised 31 concerns and 29 of them have been completely resolved. The two issues that are yet to be completely resolved, include full-time staff in the Flight Standards Directorate (FSD), to be resolved by March end, and training of DGCA employees, which is currently and employees are being trained in batches.
The audits raised concerns over lack of full-time FOIs in the DGCA. Currently, the DGCA has around 18 FOIs in the FSD, who have been hired on contract post the audits.
The DGCA, prior to that, did not have any regular FOIs and pilots from the scheduled airlines were seconded to DGCA to carry out these functions. These pilots were paid by the respective airlines and not by the DGCA. It had not been able to recruit full-time FOIs due to its inability to pay them market-level salaries.
FOIs are former pilots, who are typically paid an annual compensation as high as Rs 1 crore. The government rules do not permit salaries of this magnitude, which is why FOIs are being hired on contract with official sanction.
A government release said that the FSD will now comprise of one chief flight operation inspector, 6 deputy chief flight operation inspectors, 17 senior flight operation inspectors and 40 flight operation inspectors. The functions of FSD includes safety oversight functions, training programmes of airline operators, standardisation of trainee of captains, certification of airline operators, examination of operational documents and other examinations.
In another development, the government has approved the appointment of Prabhat Kumar as the full-time DGCA. Kumar, who was a joint secretary in the ministry, has been given a fixed term of three years. The aviation ministry is also making all efforts to ensure that the Civil Aviation Authority Bill is passed in the coming session of Parliament.
No requests to airlines for special treatment to Members of Parliament
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has clarified that private airlines have not been asked to ensure special privileges to the Members of Parliament (MPs).
We have not issued any directive to any of the private airlines to give special privileges to MPs. Not only have we not issued any directive there are no such plans to do that, DGCA chief Prabhat Kumar told The Indian Express. There have been reports that a directive has been issued by the DGCA/ministry of civil aviation to accord special privileges to MPs. ENS