DGCA suspends Air India’s flight safety chief for one month over lapses

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended Air India’s flight safety chief for one month after finding lapses during a surveillance audit conducted in July, the body said in a statement on Thursday.

For representational purposes only. (PTI File Photo)
For representational purposes only. (PTI File Photo)

“The DGCA team carried out the surveillance of Air India on July 25-26, 2023 in the areas of internal audit, accident prevention work and availability of required technical manpower…(and) found deficiencies in the accident prevention work carried out by the organisation and the availability of the requisite technical manpower as required in the approved Flight Safety Manual and the relevant Civil Aviation Requirements,” the civil aviation regulator said in the statement.

The regulator said it observed that some of the internal audit/spot checks, claimed to be carried out by Air India, were done in a perfunctory manner and not as per the regulatory requirements. Thus, the airline was asked to submit a report of action taken.

After receiving this report, the DGCA issued show cause notices to the concerned post holders.

“Based on the review of the replies received, the airline has been directed not to assign any audits/surveillance/spot checks pertaining to compliance of DGCA requirements to the particular auditor involved in the perfunctory inspections which indicates lack of diligence. Further, the approval of Chief of Flight Safety of Air India has been suspended for a period of one month for the lapses established,” the DGCA said.

This is not the first time Air India has been pulled up for not operating by rules. The DGCA had recently asked the airline to not operate its pilot training facilities in Hyderabad and Mumbai for Airbus and Boeing, respectively. It had, however, conditionally allowed Air India to use the facilities.

Prior to that, the regulator found that the airline had forged reports of spot checks it never conducted.

“After cross verification with CCTV footage, it was understood that 13 spot checks shown to be carried out at Delhi, Mumbai and Goa were established to have not been carried out. However, reports were subsequently falsified when the DGCA asked for it,” an earlier audit report by the civil aviation regulator had stated.

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