DGCA makes rules to improve working conditions for flight maintenance staff
The circular has been issued after a 22-year-old SpiceJet technician, who was carrying out maintenance work on an aircraft at the Kolkata airport, died on July 9 after the doors that house the landing gear closed on him.Updated: Aug 24, 2019 06:58 IST
A mandatory break for aircraft maintenance personnel (AMP) after every four hours of work, no consecutive night shifts, total work load that does not exceed 60 hours (including overtime) for seven consecutive days before rest days — these are some of the stringent rules the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has come up in a revised airworthiness advisory circular it has issued for aircraft maintenance organisations (AMOs).
A senior DGCA official said the advisory has been issued to improve the working conditions of the AMPs.
The circular has been issued after a 22-year-old SpiceJet technician, who was carrying out maintenance work on an aircraft at the Kolkata airport, died on July 9 after the doors that house the landing gear closed on him.
A probe by the aviation regulator had found out that Rohit Pandey, the Mumbai-based trainee engineer who was killed in the incident, was not given proper training. Pandey was carrying out work on the aircraft without any supervision by a trained or a licensed engineer, the probe report said.
Thus, the DGCA on Friday issued a revised airworthiness advisory stating that while AMOs frame the policy for duty time limit for AMPs, factors affecting the physical and mental performance of an individual should be considered.
This, the regulator said, should be done to avoid errors in maintenance, which may jeopardize the safety of aircraft and the individual.
The DGCA asked AMOs to provide minimum rest period of 11 hours between the end of shift and the beginning of the next shift, which should not be compromised with overtime.
The regulator also asked AMOs to give a minimum of 15 days notice for planning their work schedule.
Making the work timings of maintenance personnel specific, DGCA instructed the AMOs to ensure their scheduled work does not exceed 48 hours in any period of seven successive days.
Similarly, their total work including overtime, has been instructed to not exceed 60 hours for seven consecutive work days before a period of rest days.