Safety of civil aviation sector “paramount”, says Scindia

New Delhi: Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said the safety and security of the nation’s civil aviation space is “paramount,” and all incidents even minor ones are reported.

The civil aviation minister also stated that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has set a target of performing 3,709 checks this year as part of its annual surveillance strategy in light of numerous mishaps involving SpiceJet and other carriers in recent years.

Prior to the coronavirus epidemic, the goal was approximately 2,775 checks.

In response to a question on safety in a recent interview with PTI, Scindia stated that the civil aviation industry had a 100% incident reporting record.

“We make sure that every occurrence is reported, whether it is a very minor issue or any other thing. The safety and security for us as a civil aviation ministry is paramount. It is the primary responsibility of airlines. For both safety and security, we have the regulators in place that monitor compliance on those parameters. BCAS (Bureau of Civil Aviation Security) for security and DGCA for safety,” he said.

In recent months, there have been reports of Indian carriers experiencing technological glitches, most notably SpiceJet. Following a string of technical problems with the airline’s aircraft, the DGCA ordered SpiceJet to fly only 50% of its flights for eight weeks and opted to maintain increased oversight of the company.

The DGCA publishes a complete roster in this respect each year as part of its yearly surveillance plan.

The monitoring strategy includes coverage for airlines, flying training organisations, and organisations that teach drone operations, among other groups.

“DGCA has kept a stiff target of 3,709 checks in their annual surveillance plan… I am confident that they will reach the target of 3,709 checks this year. They are very clear in terms of ensuring a safe environment. Safety for us is paramount,” Scindia said.

The aviation authority claims that an upgraded version of the Annual Surveillance Programme (ASP), which includes all directorates under DGCA, has been produced based on lessons learned during 2009–2021.

“Further DGCA also analysed the field data/ discrepancies reported during past surveillance activities. DGCA also identified the weak areas of operators and the areas of concern. The result of the analysis has been incorporated for the development of new ASP 2022. The programme has been developed after taking into account the available resources in the organisation,” as per the regulator.

There were approximately 6 crore air travellers in the country in 2013–14; this figure rose to about 20 crore in 2019–20.

By 2027, 40 crore travelers—both domestic and foreign—are expected to visit India, according to Scindia.

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