The civil aviation ministry has pulled up the aviation safety regulator over delay in taking action against three flying clubs in Maharashtra caught for fudging training records in 2011. The schools under fire include the Bombay Flying Club (BFC), the country's oldest flying club.
According to ministry sources, despite several discrepancies in the club's records and heavy monetary penalty recommended against some of its officials, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) failed to implement timely action.
Sources added that over the past week, the ministry had sent two reminders to the DGCA.
DGCA chief Arun Mishra accepted the delay in action. "We are in the process of implementing the order." He added that some senior training officials might face suspension and the schools would be fined.
According to officials, the DGCA had found that BFC had overstated fuel stock. The BFC's records also showed that the aircraft were grounded while they were actually in use.
Although the DGCA is now claiming they will take action, independent air safety experts said that this might fall flat if the orders are challenged in court. "Flying clubs might claim that the actions are based on audits conducted 24 months ago," said an independent air safety expert.