DGCA to meet top airlines officials on safety lapses issue | india | Hindustan Times
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DGCA to meet top airlines officials on safety lapses issue

india Updated: Jan 12, 2012 20:24 IST

Aviation regulator DGCA is reviewing the replies by airlines on the safety lapses pointed out by it in a financial audit and would be meeting top officials of the air carriers shortly, sources said on Thursday.

Weeks after several safety lapses were pointed out by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) after a financial surveillance, the Indian carriers claimed they were complying with all safety regulations for their flight operations.

The DGCA would hold a meeting "shortly" to tell airline representatives whether their plans to comply with all instructions and rules, as pointed out by the regulator following the audit, were practicable and feasible, the sources said.

The audit found a long list of discrepancies and violations by the cash-strapped airlines due to widespread sickness in the sector which was seriously impacting safety of flight operations.

Taking serious note of non-compliance or flouting of safety rules by the carriers, it recommended action against the airlines under the Aircraft Rules and Civil Aviation Requirements (CARs).

After the meeting with all the airlines, the DGCA would carry out a safety review under the Safety Evaluation Assessment Tool (SEAT) which has over 150 parameters, the sources said.

Now on, the regulator would constantly monitor the airlines to keep a track on whether they continue to maintain high standards and practices to ensure fool-proof safety of flight operations, they said.

Warning the airlines not to take "short-cuts" on safety issues, DGCA chief EK Bharat Bhushan recently threatened them of stringent action if they did not come out with a "specific and realistic" time-table to meet all safety requirements.

To maintain safety, the DGCA is empowered to curtail their flight schedules or ask them to fly fewer aircraft which they can properly maintain, and, as a final step, cancel their flying permit.

DGCA has also held a meeting with the safety chiefs of almost all non-scheduled operators who fly aircharters and asked them to abide by all safety norms, the sources said.

The audit had suggested withdrawal of Kingfisher's flying permit and slashing of operations of AI Express, even as it criticised other carriers like IndiGo, SpiceJet, Jet Airways, GoAir, Alliance Air and JetLite on issues like non-reporting of incidents, lack of pilots, proper and regular training, absence of qualified safety officials and non-compliance of safety audits.