Arun Mishra, a 1986-batch West Bengal cadre IAS official, recently took over as the new chief of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) — the country’s aviation safety regulator.
His appointment comes at a time when the regulator is embroiled in a controversy over the abrupt removal of former DGCA chief EK Bharat Bhushan. An inquiry is already underway to establish whether Bhushan indeed made a file noting on issuing a notice to Kingfisher Airlines a day before he was removed from his post. Mishra spoke to HT on his priorities and challenges. Excerpts:
You are back after a three-year stint as India’s representative to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). What would be your top priorities?
Aviation safety would be my top most priority and I would ensure that safety isn’t compromised at any cost. I will work towards improving the safety culture of not only the DGCA but all stakeholders of the aviation industry. We also need more technical staff in DGCA.
What are your views on the controversy surrounding Kingfisher Airlines?
I have just taken charge and still have to go through the Kingfisher file. Whatever be the case, safety is paramount and will not be compromised at any cost.
What would be your biggest challenge?
The ICAO audit to be held in December will be one of our biggest challenges. We will work very hard to meet the expectations and collaborate, coordinate and cooperate with all stakeholders. We will implement stringent (pilot) licensing norms and a robust surveillance system.