Virtually ruling out setting up of a Civil Aviation Authority to replace DGCA, Union Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju today said that he saw no need to merely rename the regulator.
The UPA government had proposed to replace Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) with Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) having full functional and financial autonomy to give the regulator more teeth.
“What is the need for CAA? What purpose will be served by just changing the name? I do not see any reason (to replace DGCA),” the Civil Aviation Minister said.
Raju, however, admitted there is “opaqueness” in working of DGCA and promised to usher in transparency in the body in the interest of passenger safety and security.
The Minister said an ambitious plan is being worked out to make the DGCA a more “responsive” and “meaningful” body, which had faced a downgrade on safety grounds during the UPA regime.
The DGCA is expected to make completely online 18 major services including granting of licence to pilots, approval of safety procedures and engineering and flight operations this month as part of its e-GCA (e-Governance in Civil Aviation) project.
“We need more transparency in DGCA. Things have to be more transparent and the opaqueness has to go away so as to make things more responsible and responsive,” Raju told PTI in an interview.
His comments come at a time when there are increasing threats to aviation security worldwide, particularly after the terror attack on Brussels airport in March.
Questions relating to safety of passengers had come into focus following incidents such as a pilot trying to land an aircraft on a road mistaking it for the runway and another pilot allowing a cabin crew to travel in the cockpit.
Against the backdrop of safety lapses in domestic carriers raising concerns about the effectiveness of DGCA, Raju said safety was very important and no government can ignore it.