Wednesday, April 2, 2014

DGCA-Chopping Arms to Save the Legs

Neelam Mathews
April 2, 2014

India's DGCA's feeble attempt to prove to FAA how serious it is on its filling gaps on its inadequate regulatory oversight on safety can be seen in its release of information to the media, which, many consider inappropriate.
Take the checks on the Challenger 605 in Delhi recently, for instance. This was a regular check and should have been the practice ever since Indian business aviation took off. However, to have overblown it in such a way, is a mistake on DGCAs part. Very clearly, it is causing damage to the business aviation industry as it tries to limp back to a saner business environment.
At first glance, this story might look one-sided. Nevertheless, AerospaceDiary is known to give the dog its due. We in the industry know of the levels of safety recognized by regulators in which level one observations are serious as they impinge on safety. Level 2 can be mitigated as in the case of the Challenger,  and such oversights are not meant for public consumption as the oversights are to be handled by SOPs. So, why is DGCA creating this “awareness”?  If it really wants to impress FAA, perhaps it should do something about the detailed IACO report gathering dust for the past two years.
“Let us discuss our issues in-house as the general public does not understand the nitty gritties of issues faced by us,” R.K Bali, Gen Secy, BAOA, tells us.
Bali might be conservative with his words, we are not.  Let’s face it. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.  Despite lack of a GA infrastructure and a crying report waiting to move out of the cobwebs of DGCAs laptops and by Minister Ajit Singh’s own confession that India has a better safety record than the US and inspite of DGCA’s lack of inspectors, India's GA industry has a good safety record. The credit for this goes to the industry and its pilots that view every passenger as a VVIP and whose lives vest in his hands. 
Hopefully the govt wont take a cue from this!
It is time that DGCA gets into the act of hiring manpower- we understand the limits- but please, do not cut your arms to save your legs. Either ways, it will be a loss to the country.

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