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Govt considering setting up air accident probe body

Government is actively considering separating the role of an air accident investigator from DGCA.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published: June 25, 2010 4:54:40 pm

Government is actively considering separating the role of an air accident investigator from the aviation regulator DGCA by establishing an independent organisation for the purpose through a legislation.

An independent Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is being “actively considered” by the government,which also proposes to set up an independent and impartial investigation body,Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief Naseem Zaidi said here.

Maintaining that the CAA would be set up in accordance with the recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation,he said the authority would ensure effective regulatory functions and be established in the line of similar global bodies like the Federal Aviation Administration of the US,CAA in UK and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

In the meanwhile,the DGCA was undergoing restructuring and strengthening process as 550 additional technical positions were being filled up,he said at an international workshop on aviation safety roadmap.

Government would also legislate on implementing ICAO Manual’s Annexe-13 relating to aircraft accident and incident investigations and the Standard and Recommended Practice (SARPs) to ensure their reporting and sharing of the global data reporting system,Zaidi said.

He said a legislative proposal to protect safety data with the purpose of accident prevention was also under examination.

Official sources said the Civil Aviation Ministry was in the process of preparing legislations covering all these aspects.

Following the aircrash in Mangalore last month which claimed 158 lives,Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel had mooted the idea of separating the roles of a regulator and an investigator and proposed the creation of a dedicated agency to probe accidents on the lines of the US National Transportation Safety Board.

Observing that India was cooperating with FAA,EASA and other such bodies for sharing of information of accidents and incident,Zaidi said DGCA would now onwards publish full accident and incident reports on its website.

He said India has implemented 92 per cent of ICAO’s recommendations on air safety and had retained Category-I or top-most category in the safety audit of the FAA.

“We are going to demonstrate our commitment to safety in the follow up visits of FAA (delegation) in July,” he said.

Inaugurating the workshop,Civil Aviation Secretary M Madhavan Nambiar said while air travel was already the “safest form of transportation”,the challenge for the aviation industry and regulatory agencies was “to make an already safe system safer”.

He said there was a great need for all stakeholders,including the government,airlines and airport operators,the regulators and others to work together,adopt the best international practices and make all aviation systems as safe as possible.

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