Government is not considering closure of any airline, new DGCA chief Prashant Sukul said on Thursday while rubbishing reports that his predecessor, E K Bharat Bhushan, was removed for taking a tough stand against Kingfisher Airlines.
"No airline operations are being considered for closing," Sukul, who took over after Bhushan was abruptly removed from his key position on Tuesday, told reporters in Delhi.
He denied reports that "action against one of the scheduled airlines (Kingfisher) was under consideration by the DGCA due to non-compliance of safety regulations."
Sukul was replying to a spate of questions on whether Bhushan was shunted out in the backdrop of his reported notice to debt-ridden Kingfisher that its license could be terminated if it did not take steps within 15 days to induct more planes to run its daily operations and pay up the salaries of its employees on time.
Sukul, who is also a joint secretary in the civil aviation ministry and holds additional charge as DGCA, said the aviation regulator had carried out safety audit of all Indian carriers between November last and January this year.
However, the short-term findings of DGCA's safety audit of all these airlines "were closed due to satisfactory compliance" by them, he said. "Based upon the satisfactory compliance shown by the scheduled domestic airlines, letters were issued to all scheduled airlines on May 25, 2012, closing all their short-term findings."
The airlines were also asked to ensure that long-term deficiencies be addressed "as per target dates" and this process would be reviewed periodically, Sukul said.
He said he had convened a meeting of all airline CEOs on Friday to discuss the safety issues arising out of this audit carried out by the aviation regulator directorate general of civil aviation.