Friday, June 14, 2024

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    Air India’s Chief of Flight Safety Suspended Over Safety Protocol Lapses

    Civil Aviation Regulator Takes Strong Action After Inspection Reveals Safety Shortcomings

    In a resolute move aimed at safeguarding passenger safety, the civil aviation regulator has taken stern action against Air India by suspending its Chief of Flight Safety for a period of one month. This disciplinary action follows a comprehensive inspection that exposed lapses in the airline’s accident prevention protocol.

    The Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGCA) initiated a meticulous surveillance operation on July 25-26, focusing on several critical aspects, including the internal audit process, accident prevention measures, and the availability of the essential technical workforce within Air India, which boasts a formidable fleet of 121 aircraft.

    In a statement, the civil aviation regulators declared, “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, the inspection revealed that some of the internal audits and spot checks purportedly conducted by the airline were executed in a perfunctory manner, failing to meet the stringent regulatory standards.

    Following a thorough review of the airline’s action taken report, the DGCA issued showcause notices to the responsible individuals within Air India. In response to the replies received, the DGCA has mandated that the airline refrains from assigning audits, surveillance activities, or spot checks related to DGCA compliance to the particular auditor involved in the lackluster inspections, indicating a clear deficit in diligence.

    In addition to this punitive measure, the DGCA has suspended the approval of the Chief of Flight Safety of Air India for a duration of one month, citing the established lapses in safety protocols.

    This stringent action comes on the heels of reports, approximately a month earlier, revealing the DGCA inspection team’s discovery of shortcomings in Air India’s internal safety audits. At the time, an Air India spokesperson had asserted the airline’s active engagement in such audits to continually evaluate and fortify its operational processes.

    It is crucial to underline that passenger safety has remained a paramount concern for the DGCA and the Civil Aviation Ministry. During a briefing last year, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia emphatically emphasized that passenger safety stands at the pinnacle of DGCA’s priority list, and there can be no compromises on this vital front.

    The DGCA’s unwavering commitment to enforcing stringent flight safety and maintenance standards underscores the imperative of ensuring the utmost safety and security for air travelers, especially in light of previous incidents involving flight snags.

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