DGCA asks airlines to depute engineers at all airports

DGCA order comes after it found airlines were wrongly identifying aircraft defects

Published - July 19, 2022 12:19 am IST - NEW DELHI

Aircraft parked at the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru.

Aircraft parked at the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered airlines to ensure qualified engineers are present at all airports to clear flights before departure after it discovered that technical glitches were being incorrectly identified and reported and airlines were relying heavily on junior engineers.

The latest order follows a meeting held by Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia on aviation safety issues following incidents on IndiGo, Air India Express, Vistara and SpiceJet. DGCA had already served a show-cause notice earlier this month on SpiceJet. The minister has sought stepping up of safety oversight on airlines.

“All aircraft base and transit stations shall be released by certifying staff holding AME [Aircraft Maintenance Engineer] Category B1/ B2 licence with appropriate authorisation by their organisation,” the DGCA order says. It adds that airlines may either position AMEs at base and transit stations or fly them to smaller stations as staff-on-duty.

The aviation safety regulator’s latest instruction follows spot checks it conducted, where it discovered “improper identification of cause of a reported defect and non-availability of required certifying staff to cater to multiple-scheduled arrivals/ departures”. The DGCA said that it has also noticed that airlines were frequently seeking relief from the mandatory requirement that all equipment on aircraft be operative.

AMEs are authorised to clear aircraft before every departure and upon rectification of technical problems by issuing a certificate for release to service. B1 category of AMEs carry out mechanical engineering works involving airframe and engine and B2 category engineers carry out work related to avionics like electrical elements, radio and navigation.

The DGCA has said that in the absence of AMEs, airlines have been frequently granting one-off authorisation to junior-level engineers, and that this practice is against regulatory provisions.

An airline official said on the condition of anonymity that the DGCA’s order will impose a burden on all airlines and they will now have to depute AMEs across their network, and may even be required to hire more AMEs.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.