India proposes pooling of air safety regulators for South Asia

By: | Published: September 29, 2015 8:08 PM

With shortage of air safety regulators posing a challenge, India today proposed pooling of this expert manpower for South Asian region and creating a quality panel to be made available to all the eight countries.

With shortage of air safety regulators posing a challenge, India today proposed pooling of this expert manpower for South Asian region and creating a quality panel to be made available to all the eight countries.

The proposal on sharing of the specialised manpower was made at an aviation safety meeting here even as Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju underscored the need for making sky safer for aviation.

At the 24th Steering committee Meeting of Co-operative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness (COSCAP)programme for South Asia, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey asked countries to take advantage of GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system developed by India.

“The manpower that we get is the same that is available to the private sector…(So) the challenge (before us) is how to recruit and retain the manpower. Even if we are not able to have people directly on our payrolls, can we think of preparing a panel of safety regulators which is available to all the countries in this region,” Choubey said.

He expressed the hope that the participating members would deliberate on his suggestion.

“It may be difficult for us to get people on a full time basis because we may not be in a position to pay them the same salary and remuneration that they will get in the private sector,” he added.

Terming manpower crunch as one of the challenges in the area of air safety, Choubey said pooling of such resources would help in meeting the shortage of this specialised manpower.

The programme is aimed in assisting the participant States in developing regulations and standards and to improve their independent oversight capabilities.

The three-day international conference is being attended by 87-delegates who include senior DGCA officials of COSCAP for South Asia member states and other stakeholders from the industry.

Choubey said India has offered the services of GAGAN to some of the countries and was negotiating with them in this regard.

GAGAN provides augmentation service for GPS over the country, Bay of Bengal, South East Asia and Middle East expanding up to Africa.

India is among the three countries in the world to have this kind of navigation system.

Jointly developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Airports Authority of India (AAI) and launched in July this year, at an investment of Rs 774 crore, the new system offers seamless navigation to the aviation industry.

The benefits of GAGAN include improved efficiency, direct routes, increased fuel savings, approach with vertical guidance at runways, significant cost savings due to withdrawal of ground aids and reduced workload of flight crew and Air Traffic Controllers.

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