In a first-of-its-kind action, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has found a simulator training facility used by market leader IndiGo to train pilots in United Kingdom “deficient”.
The safety regulator has directed the budget carrier not to use the training facility. This is the first time that the DGCA has taken such an action against a training facility abroad.
“We have not approved the use of that simulator by IndiGo because of the deficiencies found,” said a DGCA official.
IndiGo told HT that, “One amongst many simulators in this training facility in UK, being used by IndiGo, was found to be short on some technical parameters...Since May 11, IndiGo has not conducted any training on this simulator”.
The latest action by the regulator highlights the steps being taken by the DGCA to enhance safety.
“Most of the things that we do – the non-normal training like engine failure, low visibility training – these you can’t simulate on the aircraft. That you do on the simulator. So, if the simulator is deficient it means training is deficient and the safety standards get compromised,” said a safety expert.
Over the last 12 months, IndiGo has trained 50 pilots at the various simulators available at this training centre. “The findings during the simulator evaluation by DGCA do not affect the quality of training imparted and the regulator has not proposed any extra training for these pilots,” IndiGo said.
“Our airline operators should train as per international standards and the DGCA is ensuring this by inspecting these facilities,” said a senior ministry official.
Most Indian carriers except Air India and Jet Airways, send pilots abroad to train. “This restriction will not impact IndiGo as we primarily conduct a major portion of our training at CAE-Dubai,” IndiGo said.