The number of safety-related violations by airline companies is increasing, according to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data, which show that 280 such incidents took place till August 10, 2016, compared with 275 in 2015. The DGCA plans to intensify its safety oversight programme in 2016. “We plan to come down heavily on airlines for violating cabin crew safety norms and not maintaining the flight crew standards,” an official said.
The DGCA had last week suspended flying licences of two pilots of Air India and Jet Airways for four years as they tested positive for alcohol. The safety regulator also took action against 63 pilots of SpiceJet for operating flights beyond stipulated duty hours.
Airline-wise data available till June 30, 2016 show that the DGCA initiated 169 enforcement actions, including 110 suspensions of cabin crew, mostly pilots, 28 were off-rostered and 31 warnings were issued.
Jet Airways has the highest number of enforcement actions initiated against its cabin crew. The number stood at 44 till June 30. It was followed by Air India (22), Indigo (25), Spice Jet (15) and JetLite (11), DGCA data said.
The number of alcohol-positive cases detected during pre-flight medical tests also reveals an upward trend. The DGCA till July 2016 took actions against 125 pilots for failing to pass the pre-flight medical test. alcohol-positive cases has been the highest for Jet Airways (33 cases since 2013), to be followed by Indigo (25), Spice Jet (20) and Air India (19).
First-time violators are issued warnings by the DGCA and if the same person is found to have violated safety regulations in the successive inspection, the regulator directs the airline concerned to de-roster the cabin crew from flying duty for a specified time. In case of repeat offences, the crew member is suspended. The enforcement action depends on the severity of violation. FE