The rot in India’s aviation sector runs deep. Relatives of over a dozen officials of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS)—the security regulator for the country's aviation sector — are holding lucrative jobs with aviation-related companies, raising issues of conflict of interest.
Hindustan Times has obtained a list of 15 such BCAS officials. In a majority of these cases, the officials did not obtain prior permission or inform BCAS that their brothers, sisters, husbands, sons or daughters are employed with airlines, airports and ground handling companies.
The rulebook clearly states that they have to seek prior written permission from the organisation in such cases. On the list are three assistant commissioners and a regional deputy commissioner. None of them took permission from the organisation before their relatives took up these jobs.
"Anything to do with the security of an airline or an airport is monitored by BCAS. Relatives of officials working with the aviation industry raises ethical issues," a ministry official said.
As the security regulator, BCAS lays down aviation security standards for airport and airlines operators. "One of the biggest deficiencies in our aviation system is the flood of blood relatives of officials working in various airlines," said Captain Mohan Ranganathan, a Chennai-based aviation expert.
BCAS Chief GS Malhi did not respond to calls and text messages from HT. Sources said he has called for an explanation from all such officials.