In a stern move, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the civil aviation regulator, has suspended Air India‘s Chief of Flight Safety for a period of one month. This decision comes in the wake of an inspection that revealed deficiencies in the airline’s accident prevention protocols.
The DGCA conducted a surveillance operation on July 25-26, focusing on aspects like internal audits, accident prevention procedures, and the availability of necessary technical manpower within Air India, which operates a fleet of 121 aircraft.
The DGCA, in a statement, stated, “The DGCA surveillance found deficiencies in the accident prevention work carried out by the organization and the availability of the requisite technical manpower as required in the approved Flight Safety Manual and the relevant Civil Aviation Requirements.”
Furthermore, it was noted that some of the internal audits and spot checks claimed by the airline were conducted in a superficial manner, not meeting regulatory requirements.
Following the scrutiny of the airline’s action taken report, the DGCA issued showcause notices to the individuals responsible for the lapses. As a result of this review, the DGCA directed Air India not to assign any audits, surveillance, or spot checks related to DGCA compliance to the specific auditor involved in the substandard inspections, highlighting a lack of diligence. The DGCA suspended the approval of the Chief of Flight Safety of Air India for a one-month period due to the established lapses.
This action by the DGCA follows earlier reports, nearly a month ago, which had highlighted lapses in Air India’s internal safety audits. At the time, an Air India spokesperson had emphasized the airline’s commitment to actively engage in such audits to continuously assess and strengthen their operational processes.
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