Regulator DGCA suspends Air India’s flight safety chief for a month

Regulator DGCA suspends Air India's flight safety chief for a month

New Delhi:

Sending a strong message, the civil aviation regulator has suspended Air India’s flight safety chief for a month after an inspection found lapses in the carrier’s accident prevention protocols.

The Directorate of Civil Aviation said Air India, which boasts a fleet of 121 aircraft, was monitored on July 25-26 to “conduct internal audit, accident prevention work and availability of required technical manpower”.

“DGCA surveillance found deficiencies in the accident prevention work undertaken by the organization and the availability of requisite technical manpower as per the approved flight safety manual and relevant civil aviation requirements,” the civil aviation regulator said in a statement.

“Further, it was observed that some of the internal audits/spot checks conducted by the airline were conducted negligently and not in accordance with the regulatory requirements,” it added.

After reviewing the action taken report of the airline, DGCA issued show cause notices to the concerned post holders.

Civil Aviation said, “On the basis of review of the replies received, the airline has been directed not to casually delegate any audit/surveillance/spot check related to compliance with DGCA requirements to the special auditor involved in the inspection, who will exercise due diligence. Shows a lack of.” The regulator said.

“Further, for the lapses established, the approval of the Head of Flight Safety of M/s Air India has been suspended for a period of one month,” it said.

The action comes nearly a month after news reports said the DGCA inspection team had found lapses in Air India’s internal security audit. An Air India spokesperson had then said that the airline “actively engages in such audits to continuously assess and strengthen our processes”.

During a briefing last year, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had said that passenger safety tops the DGCA’s priority list and there can be no compromise on that front.

DGCA’s strict stance on flight safety and maintenance came to light after several incidents of in-flight malfunctions.

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