Civil aviation safety is “first”, says Scindia


New Delhi: Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said the security of the country’s civil aviation space is “primary” and all incidents, even minor ones, will be reported.

The Civil Aviation Minister also stated that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has set a target of conducting 3,709 inspections this year as part of its annual surveillance strategy, as SpiceJet and other airlines have suffered several accidents in recent years.

Before the coronavirus epidemic, the target was about 2,775 inspections.

Responding to a question on safety in a recent interview with PTI, Scindia stated that civil aviation had 100% incident reporting.

“We make sure that every incident is reported, whether it’s a very minor issue or anything else. Safety is of the utmost importance to us at the Ministry of Civil Aviation. It is the primary responsibility of the airlines. For both safety and security, we have controls in place to monitor compliance with these parameters. BCAS (Bureau of Civil Aviation Security) for security and DGCA for security,” he said.

In recent months, there have been reports of Indian airlines experiencing technical glitches, most notably SpiceJet. Following technical issues with the airline’s aircraft, the DGCA ordered SpiceJet to fly only 50 percent of its flights for eight weeks and decided to maintain the company under enhanced surveillance.

In this regard, the DGCA publishes a complete list every year as part of its annual surveillance plan.

The control strategy covers, for example, airlines, flight training organizations and organizations that teach drone operation.

“DGCA has maintained a strict target of 3,709 inspections in its annual surveillance plan… I am confident that they will achieve the target of 3,709 inspections this year. They are very clear about ensuring a safe environment. Safety is paramount for us,” Scindia said.

The civil aviation authority claims that based on the experience from 2009 to 2021, an updated version of the Annual Surveillance Program (ASP) has been produced, which includes all departments under the DGCA.

“The DGCA also analyzes the field data/anomalies reported during previous surveillance activities. The DGCA also identified the weak areas and concerns of the players. The result of the analysis has been included in the development of the new ASP 2022. The program has been developed taking into account the organization’s available resources”, according to the supervisor.

There were approximately 6 million air passengers in the country in 2013–2014; the figure rose to around 20 billion in 2019–2020.

According to Scindia, 40 million travelers – both domestic and foreign – are expected to visit India by 2027.

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