DGCA Starts Safety Au­dit of Air­lines Ahead of ICAO Check

The Economic Times - - Economy: Macro, Micro & More - @times­group.com

New Delhi: As the au­dit of In­dia’s avi­a­tion sec­tor by the In­ter­na­tional Civil Avi­a­tion Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ICAO) nears, the lo­cal reg­u­la­tor has launched an eval­u­a­tion of the coun­try’s air­lines for their com­pli­ance with safety stan­dards.

The Direc­torate Gen­eral of Civil Avi­a­tion (DGCA) au­dit is seen as part of the lo­cal body’s preparation for the in­ter­na­tional au­dit, which comes in the back­drop of in­creased in­stan- ces of safety vi­o­la­tion in Indian skies. Ad­verse find­ings dur­ing the eval­u­a­tion by ICAO, a UN watch­dog, could re­sult in for­eign avi­a­tion reg­u­la­tors im­pos­ing sanc­tions on In­dia.

“The air­line au­dit will check them (car­ri­ers) on al­most all pa­ram­e­ters,” said an of­fi­cial in the know, who did not want to be named.

Air­lines con­firmed the de­vel­op­ment. “Th­ese au­dits by DGCA can­not be sur­prise au­dits and they need to in­form us and seek dates for the au­dit,” said an ex­ec­u­tive at an air­line. “Our au­dit is likely to hap­pen in Septem­ber.”

The num­ber of safety vi­o­la­tions re­ported in Indian skies in­creased by more than half in 2016 com­pared with the pre­vi­ous year. Ac­cord­ing to DGCA data, it took 422 en­force­ment ac­tions last year, com­pared with 275 in 2015. And, this at a time when In­dia has be­come the fastest grow­ing avi­a­tion mar­ket, reg­is­ter­ing more than 20% growth in pas­sen­ger traf­fic and ca­pac­ity in each of the past two years.

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