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Directorate General of Civil Aviation takes corrective measures ahead of US Federal Aviation Administration second audit

An FAA team would again hold talks with their counterparts from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on December 11.

PTI|
Updated: Nov 24, 2013, 11.09 AM IST
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NEW DELHI: Threat of a downgrade looms large over DGCA as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is scheduled to carry out a second safety audit next month, with the Indian aviation regulator rushing through a series of corrective measures pointed out by its US counterpart.

Two months after their first audit in which it raised several safety concerns, an FAA team would again hold talks with their counterparts from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on December 11, official sources said here.

Weeks after a safety audit of the DGCA by the UN-body International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a four-member FAA team had in September carried out their first audit and raised concerns over 33 specific issues.

These included existence of large number of vacancies in top technical posts like those of Joint Directors General and Deputy Directors General, at a time when air traffic in India was growing at a rapid pace. DGCA had 421 employees till July this year as against a sanctioned staff strength of 574.

FAA had also adversely commented on the conduct of the regular training programmes, including those for pilots, engineers and cabin crew, besides lack of manuals on certain important safety issues.

After a real-time audit at some airports, the FAA had noted certain faults in the implementation of safety norms by a couple of airlines and non-scheduled operators.

However, the sources discounted the possibility of such a downgrade, saying the corrective measures, like filling up of senior-level vacancies, being undertaken by India would be the crux of discussions with FAA.

Terming the upcoming talks in December as a "very pragmatic, problem-solving approach", they said "in September, the FAA had made certain observations. It wanted some corrective action taken on wide-body operations and training issues. Consultations have to be carried out on these two issues as per ICAO norms."

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