Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has tweaked its hiring norms after flight operations inspectors (FOIs) threatened to resign over transfers. Civil aviation ministry officials said that the FOIs who have already been hired will continue to stay in Delhi, and in future, the location of posting would be clearly mentioned.
So far, FOIs were only verbally assured that they would be stationed in Delhi. As the DGCA began to found it difficult to recruit more flight inspectors in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, it transferred some existing inspectors from Delhi. This resulted in 12 inspectors resigning, and another 20 threatening to resign. After this large exodus the DGCA has finally stopped the transfers.
“All the flight inspectors have withdrawn their resignations and have been reinstated,” said a ministry official. This comes as a relief to the DGCA, which has been struggling to fill the remaining 23 vacancies for flight inspectors. The DGCA had a total of 75 vacancies.
“The remaining vacancies — the flight inspectors will either be stationed in cities other than Delhi, or will shuttle between Delhi and other cities. We will tell them about this condition while we hire them,” officials said.
Hiring flight inspectors is a must, as lack of technical staff was one of the main reasons the US Federal Aviation Administration had downgraded India to category-II earlier this year, stating that the aviation security is compromised. The action would bar airlines from flying to the US and UK, andconstrict them from international expansion in the US.
“The government would be the appropriate entity to discuss staffing issues. We have made no further announcements about India’s International Safety Assessment programme status,” said an FAA spokesperson in an email response to queries on whether the FAA would downgrade India again if more flight inspectors are not hired, and resignations continue.