DGCA Suspends Air India Flight Safety Chief for Lapses
Aviation watchdog DGCA suspends Air India's Flight Safety Chief Rajeev Gupta for one month due to safety lapses and deficiencies.
NEW DELHI: In a recent development, India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended the Chief of Flight Safety at Air India, Rajeev Gupta, for one month. This action comes as a response to certain lapses identified during regulatory surveillance conducted by DGCA on July 25 and 26.
The DGCA's team conducted a comprehensive evaluation of Air India's operations, with a focus on areas such as internal audit, accident prevention measures, and the availability of necessary technical personnel. The findings revealed deficiencies in Air India's accident prevention efforts and a shortage of technical manpower required as per the approved Flight Safety Manual and relevant Civil Aviation Requirements.
In response to these findings, DGCA issued a statement saying, "The approval of Chief of Flight Safety of Air India has been suspended for a period of one month for the lapses established." Rajeev Gupta serves as the Chief of Flight Safety at Air India Ltd.
This is not the first time DGCA has taken action against Air India for alleged violations and lapses. In the past, the airline has faced regulatory scrutiny and penalties. Just last month, DGCA suspended the Approval to Train (ATO) status of Air India's training facilities in Mumbai and Hyderabad for ten days due to lapses in simulator training.
Additionally, DGCA noted that some of the internal audits and spot checks conducted by the airline were performed perfunctorily and did not meet regulatory requirements. As a result, DGCA issued show-cause notices to the individuals responsible for these inspections after reviewing Air India's action taken report.
Furthermore, DGCA directed Air India not to assign audits, surveillance, or spot checks related to DGCA compliance to the auditor involved in the perfunctory inspections, indicating a lack of diligence.
Earlier this year, in February, DGCA ordered the removal of the head of training at Air India subsidiary AIX Connect (formerly AirAsia India) for three months due to violations of certain training norms for pilots. Additionally, DGCA imposed a penalty of Rs 20 lakh on Air India and fines of Rs 3 lakh each on eight designated examiners.
This latest suspension of Air India's Flight Safety Chief underscores the importance of maintaining stringent safety standards in the aviation industry. Regulatory authorities like DGCA play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and compliance of airlines to protect passengers and crew members. Air India will now need to address the identified deficiencies and work towards enhancing its safety measures to regain the trust of regulators and passengers alike.