Mumbai airport is back under the safety scanner.
For over a year, the country’s busiest airport, which handles more than 700 take offs and landings on average every day, did not have a director of air safety. On February 2, W.P.S. Rajeev took over the job, which entails conducting safety audits on airlines, flying clubs, corporate air services, etc.
Two senior officials from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said, on condition of anonymity, that the appointment was made following a recent ultimatum from the Federal Aviation Administration, the US regulator, threatening to downgrade India for violating safety standards. The US regulator had said that its Indian counterpart faced an acute shortage of safety officers.
Two hundred posts for air safety officers all over the country are still vacant, according to the Indian regulator.
“Their job is to monitor everything from aircraft maintenance, airline compliance with flight duty timing limitations, medical standards of flying crew, cabin safety, etc,” said Captain Mohan Ranganathan, an air safety expert. “If they find anything deficient, the airline is supposed correct it quickly.”
Last month, the directorate invited applications for cabin safety inspectors and aerodrome inspectors.
The circular will allow airline employees to apply for the first post and those working for airport operators for the second. Those applying for the first post must have years of experience as cabin crew, including at least three years as cabin safety instructors.