Being pulled up for slack monitoring of aviation safety, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is fast-tracking hiring for crucial posts as it faces safety audits from international bodies.
With a team from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) already in India and the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) audit next month, the DGCA is on a hiring spree, looking for airworthy officers, flight operation inspectors for aircraft and helicopters, and administrative officers.
The decision to fast-track the appointments comes after the ICAO pulled up DGCA in its last safety audit in late 2012. Since then, the DGCA invited applications for 201 vacancies in January but only half of them were filled up till late July. The DGCA has a sanctioned staff strength of 574 officials, but currently has only 421.
“We are completing the process of hiring people for the remaining positions and will also put out advertisements for fresh applications for 15-20 posts,” a senior DGCA official said. “The process should be complete in the next week or two.”
The vacancies are for the posts of flight operations inspectors, administrative officers and dangerous goods inspectors.
India is seeking to pacify global concerns over its aviation safety. Less than a year ago, ICAO, in an audit, had pointed out staff shortage and lack of technical training at the DGCA, repeating the concerns it had raised in 2006.
The ICAO audit this year comes after a very short gap with the last audit taking place in December 2012. The report from the 2012 audit, published in March, had raised questions on monitoring of aircraft operations in the country. ICAO reports are published on its website and, based on them, global airlines take a call on whether or not to fly to a specific country, while countries decide whether or not to allow airlines from the audited nation to fly.
“ICAO has identified a significant safety concern with respect to the ability of this state to properly oversee aircraft in its jurisdiction,” the 2012 report stated.
The adverse ICAO report led the US FAA to carry out its own audit. The