The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 9 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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New aviation cop on tarmac

New Delhi, Jan. 8: The government has asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to fill up all vacant posts of inspection pilots and engineers as a prelude to the formation of independent regulator Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The government will bring in the draft bill to set up the regulator in the budget session of Parliament.

“Though the sanctioned strength for technical position is 574, the DGCA just has 307 officials. Also, while there are 400 positions for support staff, it only has 283,” said a senior official in the civil aviation ministry.

However, DGCA officials said it was not possible to fill up all the posts within this year at the current salary levels and under the present rules. The DGCA appointments are approved by the Union Public Service Commission, which make them a time-consuming process. The regulator said it was in a position to fill up only 180 out of around 400 vacancies.

According to the DGCA, the new regulator will be able to directly hire people at market rates, addressing the problem of manpower scarcity.

The CAA board will be headed by a chairman supported by other members.

“The CAA chairman will have a fixed term of five years and a person with requisite aviation experience can head the authority. An Indian Administrative Services officer with requisite experience will also be eligible for the post,” a ministry official said.

According to the draft bill, the functions and powers of the proposed CAA have been based primarily on the British model. It will have financial and administrative autonomy to take speedy decisions on matters ranging from regulation of air traffic services to licensing.

The DGCA officials said the new civil aviation policy would also be in place by the middle of this year. Applicable for 10 years, the policy will focus on attracting higher private investments and improving the cost viability for stakeholders. It will also look at setting up a promotion board for air cargo.