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Rush to fill air safety posts

RAISING THE BAR

New Delhi, June 22: Efforts are underway to fill up the vacant positions for flight inspectors in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), with global safety audit of the Indian skies just months away.

As many as 29 posts of flight operations inspectors need to be filled up by the DGCA before the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) starts its audit in August. The FAA had downgraded the country’s aviation safety rating to Category 2 in January after the DGCA failed to resolve the safety issues flagged off by the Americans.

The FAA had raised concerns over 33 issues, including the filling up of several senior positions such as full-time flight operations inspectors (FOIs).

According to DGCA officials, the FAA guidelines state that there should be one FOI for every 10 aircraft.

“As we have around 750 aircraft in the country, at present, we need 75 FOIs. The recruitment process is going on and will be completed in a few weeks time,” said a DGCA official.

According to sources, the civil aviation regulator has been able to fill as many as 46 positions and has floated advertisements to recruit 29 more.

“The recruitment process will be completed in a swift and efficient manner so that we are ready for the audit soon,” the official added.

In January, the aviation regulator appointed 18 chief flight operation inspectors and FOIs on contract.

Before the FAA downgraded India to Category 2 in January, the government had approved the creation of 75 crucial posts in the DGCA to carry out inspections of airlines and private charter companies.

Crucial positions such as chief, deputy and senior FOIs were also created in the flight standards directorate by the DGCA. The posts have been created based on the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The civil aviation ministry had earlier said the country would be ready for an FAA audit to regain its Category 1 status by June. However, the process is likely to be completed by August.

India now shares the Category 2 status with Bangladesh, Belize, Gambia and Haiti.

 
 
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