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Airlines in Financial doldrums – Can Indian skies stay Safe?

After surveillance of airlines’ financial status, DGCA has surmised that poor financial outcome may affect the safety culture of the affected airlines [1].

DGCA has pointed that one-third of aircraft of one airline are grounded for want of aircraft spares. This has led to cannibalization of parts from grounded aircraft to keep other aircraft flying [2]. Adding to the maintenance woes of this airline is an exodus of pilots from this airline at short notice [3].

In similar vain, DGCA has raised serious maintenance related concerns as well as paucity of training captains and unserviceable simulators, which significantly compromise aviation safety [2, 4]. Added to this is non- Incidentally, this airline had the last tragic crash in India in 2009 [5].

DGCA also found another airline guilty of compromising aviation safety by violating FDTL regulations as well as not reporting snags [4]. In addition, several airlines are faced with shortage of aircrew, inadequate training and paucity of simulators [2].

All these audit findings of DGCA bode ill for the aviation safety in India [6]. Compromised maintenance practices and tired pilots rostered to ensure flight schedules is a lethal cocktail, with tragedy waiting to happen!

Does the regulator have the spunk to set the not-so-golden goose of the liberating India in order, what with the cumulative losses in the aviation sector amounting to USD 20 Billion in the current financial year [7].

But before that the regulator needs to set its own house in order – corrupt officials [8], prevailing nepotism [9] and paucity of staff [10]… When the aviation elephant woke up in the Indian skies, apparently the regulator was caught napping – is it awake now?

Reference

1. DGCA warns Kingfisher, Air India Express over safety issues

2. Kingfisher Airlines safety an issue: DGCA

3. DGCA turns down Kingfisher’s plea to take action against pilots

4. DGCA gives Kingfisher 3 days to come up with safety plan

5. Air India Express Flight 812

6. DGCA pulls up more airliners

7. DGCA queries Kingfisher on Safety

8. A numb DGCA breeds rampant corruption

9. DGCA honcho suspended for nepotism

10. DGCA facing acute staff shortage

Acknowledgement  Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Kingfisher Airlines safety an issue: DGCA - PPRuNe Forums

    […] several operators in the Indian skies are in financial doldrums, in turn compromising safety […]

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