Two DGCA wings left in the lurch

CHENNAI, NOV.1. Two important arms of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)-offices of the Regional Controller of Air Worthiness and Air Safety in Chennai are now facing a piquant situation.

Following shifting of various support offices of the national airports and international airports division including meteorology wings, to the new multi-storey Air Traffic Control Tower cum-Technical Block, these two vital DGCA wings are left in the lurch on the old Meenambakkam airport complex.

The Office of the Regional Controller of Air Safety now situated on the first floor of the complex has been allocated a mere 600 sq.ft on the new Air Traffic Services (ATS) complex. Department sources are sore that not only is the allocation inadequate but whatever space made available has a ``leaking sewerage pipe'' running in the room.

On another side, the 11-member-strong office of the Regional Controller of Air Worthiness suffers so much of isolation that it is virtually the only department still functioning at the old Meenambakkam airport complex. But, the AAI is yet to allocate the required space in the new complex for the Air Worthiness wing.

Airport sources say the existing premises of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), which is soon going to have a new complex, need not be demolished, but should be made available to the two DGCA wings, so that they are in close proximity to the two terminals.

Staff in the Air Worthiness and Air Safety wings are unhappy over the shabby treatment meted out to them by the parent organisation since they feel the wings play a vital role in case of any mishap and its following investigation besides according ``air worthiness certification and ensuring passenger and aircraft flight safety''.

All this at a time of heightened security consciousness in the aviation sector.

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