Lack of manpower and trained personnel in the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is posing a grave danger to the safety of travelling public, D. Sudhakar Reddy, National President, Air Passengers Association of India.
Mr. Reddy said the DGCA office in Chennai is manned by a person in the rank of Deputy DGCA, under whom two persons are working as Air Worthiness officers and one Air Safety Officer. Apart from this, the regulatory body had recently recruited two aircraft maintenance engineers.
Due to lack of trained aircraft maintenance engineers in the DGCA, the regulatory body merely endorses the certification provided the engineers of various airlines.
But, as per the norms the DGCA should have appointed experienced persons as aircraft engineers to cross check the certification by the airline engineer on the maintenance carried out on an aircraft, equipment and the lifted components found in an aircraft. This alone would ensure the safety of passengers. Only then would the regulatory body be able to carry out periodical inspection of aircraft, sources said.
A former DGCA official said the organisation could take the assistance of pilots not flying anymore.
With the increased number of aircraft movement, different types of aircraft and varied problems faced by the airlines, the DGCA should have a representation at all major airports.
At present, the DGCA office in Chennai takes care of all the 19 airports in the southern States of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka besides Chennai. It would be very difficult for the DGCA to monitor all the 19 airports in the region and the Chennai airport also.
As a result, there is inordinate delay in investigation relating to incidents such as landing well before the runway threshold area, which was reported last week, and bursting of tyre in an aircraft, which took place on Tuesday.
Another important aspect is periodical training for engineers on latest equipment and the new types of aircraft, which is again lacking in the DGCA.
Keywords: air transport safety