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Air India engineers cry foul against employer

delhi Updated: May 25, 2010 01:48 IST
Tushar Srivastava
Tushar Srivastava
Hindustan Times
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The decision of the Air India (AI) management to approach a private airline for an engineer to certify its Airbus aircraft to fly from Mangalore to Delhi last Saturday has become a full-blown war with AI engineers approaching the DGCA against their employer.

All-India Aircraft Engineers Association (AIAEA) — an association AI engineers — on Monday wrote to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) demanding “stringent action” against people responsible for “violation” of rules.

As reported by HT, an AI Bangalore-Delhi flight scheduled last Saturday was re-routed via Mangalore to carry relief personnel after the crash. As per the AIAEA, this was an Airbus 320 with “CFM engines” and AI does not have an engineer qualified on Airbus posted at Mangalore.

The Association has claimed that the engineer was not qualified to give a certification for an Airbus aircraft. “Airworthiness norms were not adhered to. AI, in complete disregard to all rules and regulations, played with he lives of those on board,” Y.V. Raju, general secretary, AIAEA told HT.

In its letter to DGCA, AIAEA wrote that hours after a major “disaster of the decade”, AI diluted “safety and airworthy norms”. “At Mangalore airport we don’t have an aircraft maintenance engineer posted,” it said. “It is shocking to know that the aircraft took off from Mangalore after it was certified by an engineer of a private airlines who is not qualified.”

However, AI said it has the highest standards of safety and airworthiness, strictly followed in all its operations. “The engineer was found to be fully qualified and was permitted to certify AI aircraft at Mangalore by the competent authority, after taking requisite approvals from regulatory authority. Safety of the aircraft was never at stake at any time,” AI said.