Latest Special Safety Audits of all the scheduled airlines in the country done by aviation safety regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) indicate improvement in areas which include compliance of procedures, workplace manual, documentation etc.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Civil Aviation, said that Action Taken Reports had been submitted by each of the organisations and these were reviewed for effective compliance.
The DGCA is carrying out special safety audit of all the scheduled airlines in the country. For the Airports, spot inspections at 13 licensed airports have been carried out during the monsoon season by the DGCA.
Regulatory audit of scheduled airlines is carried out every two years as per the Manual of Regulatory Audit. However based on the findings during surveillances, spot checks, complaints, voluntary report and severity of occurrence, risk based audits are carried out in the form of special audits.
During previous safety audits, DGCA had identified certain deficiencies. These were circulated to the airline operators for taking corrective measures. The deficiencies found include inter-alia:
a. Delay in taking corrective action in case of outcome of the Flight Operation Quality Assurance (FOQA) exceedance data.
b. Non-reporting of the incidents/occurrences by the airlines.
c. The Maintenance Control Centre (MCC) of the airlines were not adequately staffed with technically qualified personnel.
d. Few of the procedures in practice were not in compliance with manufacturer’s recommended procedures.
e. Non-compliance to workplace manuals, documented procedures and documentation.
Minister Puri also told the Lok Sabha in another written reply that India has entered into Air Bubble agreements with 10 countries viz. USA, Canada, France, Germany, UK, Maldives, UAE, Qatar, Afghanistan and Bahrain, till September 13, 2020.
These are temporary agreements between two countries aimed at restarting commercial passenger services when regular international flights are suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
They are reciprocal in nature i.e. airlines from both countries enjoy similar benefits and tickets for these flights are sold through the airlines’ website, travel agents and Global Distribution Systems (GDS).