With its own men under the scanner for allegedly conniving with touts to help unqualified First Officers become Captains despite failing mandatory tests conducted by the aviation regulator, the DGCA chief has cracked the whip.
In an attempt to clean up the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), its chief, EK Bharat Bhushan has directed all Class I officials posted in the organisation, across the country, to furnish information on the "employment of their children or other dependent members of the family". Concealing information would have serious consequences, officials have been told.
The directive, sources said, was issued as children of several senior officials are employed with airlines or aviation-related companies. In many cases the officers haven't informed the department and taken the requisite permission before their children took up these lucrative jobs.
This, sources said, was not only a violation of government's code of conduct rules but also severely compromised the position of such officers who continued to deal with regulatory issues concerning the same companies which employ their children.
"Some of the recent decisions by the DGCA chief have been extremely proactive for safety," said Mohan Ranganathan, a Chennai-based aviation expert.
DGCA is India's civil aviation safety regulator. Its image had taken a beating following revelations that pilots forged mark sheets to obtain the Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL), which is issued by the regulator and after which a First Officer is qualified to be a Captain.
It is suspected that the scam couldn't have thrived without active connivance of DGCA officials. However, there is still no evidence to prove this.
"Nepotism is what is causing the lowering of safety standards in India with children of officials working in airlines in different capacities. The mandatory safety audit is completely compromised," Ranganathan said.
AI grounds pilot
Air India pilot has desrostered a pilot after it was revealed that he got his flying licence by allegedly submitting forged certificates.
The pilot, identified as Arjun Giare, has been grounded pending an inquiry. It is suspected that he forged his Class X certificate to show that he met the minimum age limit to become a pilot.