Aviation regulator wants stricter compliance of safety norms

June 4th, 2011 - 8:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 4 (IANS) Taking note of the recent accidents involving choppers and a light aircraft, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Saturday said a stricter audit of safety guidelines’ compliance was in the offing.

“Our biggest priority right now is safety. The (image of) country’s aviation sector is heavily dented at the present moment with back to back chopper and a light aircraft crash,” a senior official with the aviation watchdog told IANS on condition of anonymity.

According to the official, apart from strengthening the DGCA’s regional safety structure, including man power, the agency was also contemplating to increase its interaction with state aviation agencies.

“Every state has its own civil aviation bureau, the ambit of operational safety and compliance enforcement in terms of guidelines is there,” said the official.

Apart from strengthening the safety guidelines and compliance apparatus, the DGCA recently conducted an audit of some dispensations which were provided to airlines on account of special cases.

“We have gone case-by-case to asses that these dispensations were actually required or not. The final call on these cases is of course of the director general (DG), who ordered the audit in the first place,” the official said.

The regulator’s decisions comes after a leading private carrier approached the agency asking for a special permission to operate its long-haul flight to London by using only one set of pilots including a commander and a co-pilot, while under the aviation guidelines only two-set of pilots can operate such a long-haul flights.

“After the airline came to us, they said that two other airlines are operating such flights under a dispensation we provided them earlier. On this the DG took a strong stand and instructed that no such dispensation is to be given to any airline, any more,” the official added.

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