Follow Us:
Friday, September 24, 2021

After global body,US regulator,now Japan wants to audit DGCA

Seeks ‘safety talk’; India rejects concerns,says already cleared by ICAO.

Written by Mihir Mishra | New Delhi |
September 18, 2013 2:01:54 am

Japan has put in a request to audit the functioning of the Indian aviation safety regulator,an unprecedented move that calls into question the standing of the organisation globally.

Related: India set to be cleared of aviation ‘safety concerns’ tag

Two other bodies,the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA),audited the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in August and September respectively. Both audits cleared DGCA,enabling India to hold on to its ‘category one’ status,the highest level of safety certification.

Related:Private Indian jets stopped from flying abroad for not complying with safety norms

The ICAO audit followed concerns over the lack of adequate checks on the airworthiness of aircraft in India,and doubts over the enforcement of operating standards.

The FAA audit showed a lack of coordination on flight operations within the DGCA and alleged procedural lapses by the regulator in certifying airworthiness. FAA cleared DGCA,but put it up for review in five months.

India faces downgrading of its aviation security system: CAPA

The request from Japan came last month,just before the ICAO audit was carried out,it is learnt. According to a senior DGCA officer,the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) sought a “safety talk” with DGCA,seen as the first step in an audit.

Related: After clean chit,FAA to review DGCA’s security measures

But India is learnt to be cold to the possibility of the Japanese audit. Civil Aviation Secretary K N Srivastava has

written to the Indian ambassador in Japan,asking that the issue of the ‘safety talk’ be raised at an appropriate level in the Japanese government.

“They want to conduct a safety talk with us on the issue. While no dates have been suggested,we do not see the need for any safety talk,especially since we have cleared the ICAO audit,” the DGCA official said.

The concern on airworthiness flows from the approval given to major modifications and repairs carried out on foreign manufactured aircraft registered in India. The concern on operations relates to the procedure for granting the Air Operator Permit to non-scheduled operators,and the flight documentation system of scheduled airlines.

“In his missive,Srivastava has said that there should not be any concern over India’s safety after the ICAO has retained the category one status for us,” a government official involved in the exercise said.

Japan’s safety concerns have held up Air India’s plan to switch to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner from the 777s that it currently flies on the India-Japan route. AI operates four weekly flights on the Delhi-Tokyo route and three flights on the Delhi-Osaka route via Hong Kong. Changing the aircraft type is expected to make the routes profitable.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest News Archive News, download Indian Express App.

  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.