A major pilots' body of Air India has opposed the appointment of a new Executive Director (Flight Safety) and sought a probe into it, alleging that he did not possess the required necessary qualification for the job.
In a letter to Civil Aviation Secretary Nasim Zaidi, the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) alleged that Capt Subodh Nigam, who was appointed as Officiating ED (Flight Safety) by the Air India management on Monday, violated safety norms.
The ICPA, which claims a membership of over 800 of the 1,100 pilots of the national carrier, said Nigam has "flown on an invalid license for over six months in spite of not completing his mandatory DGR (Dangerous Goods Regulation) training at the Central Training Establishment at Hyderabad."
"In spite of being aware of the gross violation of air safety norms by Capt Subodh Nigam, the management of Air India has yet chosen to give him this officiating position. ... In view of this, we would like a thorough investigation to be carried out regarding his case," ICPA General Secretary Capt Rishabh Kapur said in the letter.
Interestingly, Nigam was appointed as the Officiating ED (Flight Safety) on March 28, the day on which the ICPA shot off a letter to Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav demanding his suspension alleging "he has flown on an invalid license and tarnished the image of the airline".
Quoting a recent vigilance report against Nigam, the ICPA had also directed Air India pilots not to undertake any flight, training or checks carried out by him.