A day after two flight inspectors (FoIs) resigned, government officials admitted that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is having a tough time hiring them. “There is a huge demand in the market for these highly technical people,” said a aviation ministry official.
The ministry official pointed out that the DGCA is trying hard to retain the flight inspectors. “But beyond a point it is up to them,” said the official.
After the resignation, there are 53 FoIs working with the DGCA on contractual basis. It is critical to retain the inspectors as lack of technical people was one of the reasons why the US aviation regulator the Federal Aviation Authority downgraded DGCA to category-II 14 months back.
The downgrade would have limited Indian airlines to fly to the US and many European countries. The resignations come barely two weeks after the FAA upgraded DGCA back to category-I. The downgrade was due to lack of full-time FoIs on DGCA’s rolls and lack of trained officials, both ended in not meeting the global aviation safety standards.
In order to keep the FoIs interested, the DGCA had even increased the salary of the flight operations inspectors to the market conditions. “Salaries on the higher side were up to Rs 10 lakh or so,” said government officials.
The DGCA will require 72 FoIs, and the hiring is still in process. But the resignation of two officials only makes the situation worse. However, government officials said that 72 FoIs is not something the DGCA will require right away.