Air India's troubles just don't seem to end. In a new instance, one of its senior-most pilots, Captain Subodh Nigam, has been operating flights without the mandatory Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) training certificate for over six months.
Nigam's DGR training validity lapsed in May and despite a scathing internal vigilance report, which pointed to "willful negligent approach of Capt Nigam towards training", Air India took no action against him.
"DGR is part of the annual ground refresher training for pilots. It is a mandatory requirement and a pilot's license is technically invalid without a completed ground refresher course," said Chennai-based aviation expert Capt Mohan Ranganathan, who is part of a government-appointed aviation safety committee formed after the Mangalore crash.
Certain life-saving drugs among other things, aviation experts said, come under dangerous goods category and a pilot cannot legally carry them unless he has this certificate.
As per an internal vigilance report submitted to Air India's chief vigilance officer, a copy of which is with HT, Nigam's DGR training validity lapsed on May 11. On May 17, he went to Hyderabad for training but left midway.
"His DGR training is not valid as he did not attend the full training programme. It shows his willful negligent approach towards the training. He has flouted the DGCA regulatory provisions," the report said.