Kanu Gohain, Director General of Civil Aviation raises serious concerns about staff shortage in an interview to HT.
What measures have to taken to tide over DGCA’s manpower shortage?
We are facing a staff shortage and we have sent our proposals to the Civil Aviation Ministry for sanction. We have taken cue from the Kaw Committee report but the proposals would have to be cleared by the Ministry.
How much manpower is required in DGCA?
We have about 260 officials but we immediately require more than 450 officers. The projected requirement in the next ten years is of 800 officers.
Is it true that some DGCA centres have closed down due to staff crunch?
We have shortage at some places but it is not true for all our centres.
Incidents of drunk pilots and crew being caught is increasing. How do you to plan to tackle that?
It is the airlines’ responsibility to check their crew and report to us. The airline doctors who carry out the tests are authorized by us and we also carry out surprise checks to see if the system is working properly 100 per cent checks are mandatory for all originating flights.
What have you found in your surprise checks?
We do catch drunk pilots and sometimes also find machines like alcometers are not calibrated properly.
Has DGCA given pilots’ medical records to airlines?
We have given pilot’s medical record in sealed plastic covers in the custody of airlines, they cannot manipulate the records, mainly X-ray plates, ECG reports etc. The test result records are computerized.