DGCA suspends Vistara vice president over pilot training lapses | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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DGCA suspends Vistara vice president over pilot training lapses

May 01, 2024 12:48 PM IST

The violation was over lapses in the conversion training of pilots, which involved preparing narrow-body pilots to fly wide-body aircraft

New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday suspended Vistara’s vice president for pilot training over lapses in the conversion training of pilots, officials in the know of the development said.

A response from the Vistara spokesperson is awaited (Representative Photo)
A response from the Vistara spokesperson is awaited (Representative Photo)

“The VP–Training, Vikram Mohan Dayal, has been suspended and the airline has been asked to find a replacement,” said one of the officials mentioned above. 

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“The DGCA had issued a show cause notice to Dayal over the violation. However, the regulator suspended after his response was found to be unsatisfactory,” added the official. He was appointed to the post in May 2020.

A response from the Vistara spokesperson is awaited.

The violation was over lapses in the conversion training of pilots, which involved preparing narrow-body pilots to fly wide-body aircraft. 

“Pilots have to go through training when they move on to another type of aircraft (for instance from narrow-body aircraft to a wide-body aircraft) one type of aircraft to another,” a second official said.

This training has four stages – training on the simulator, skill tests and the third stage which needs to be completed within 45 days after the skill test is done, is referred to as zero flight time training (ZFTT). 

“They (pilots) were, moreover, scheduled for supervised line flying, the fourth stage, wherein the pilots fly passengers under supervision, within completing the third stage,” the official added. 

The DGCA found that at least 12 Vistara pilots did not complete the third stage within the specified time frame and that the pilots, trained on narrow-body (A320) family aircraft, were undergoing conversion training for wide-body (B787) aircraft. 

“It’s not new that airlines miss the 45-day timeline of ZFTT, the regulator is not known to take such actions. But this time, it has decided to, probably because of the major flight disruptions due to crew unavailability it faced last month,” he said.

Vistara is expected to be legally merged with Air India by the end of this year, after which its operational merger will commence. 

Vistara chief executive officer (CEO) Vinod Kannan had in January said that the legal approvals for the Vistara-Air India merger would be completed by the first half of this year and the operational merger would be completed by next year.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved the merger of Vistara-owner Tata Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA) Airlines with Air India on September 1, last year.

The Tata Group had announced in November 2022 that as part of the merger, SIA (Singapore Airlines) will invest 2,059 crore in Air India. Post the consolidation, SIA will hold 25.1% shareholding in Air India.

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