labels: News reports, Airports, Airlines, Directorate General of Civil Aviation
DGCA seeks ICAO expertise to help meet safety norms news
31 January 2009

New Delhi: With a US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) 22 February flight safety reassessment deadline looming the country's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has asked the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to set up three national-level projects aimed at monitoring areas of flight safety, airports and air navigation. The projects are intended to ensure that the country's airlines and airports will be geared to meet all international safety norms.

ICAO is expected to set up and run these projects over a period of two years, during which it will be expected to put systems in place, hire professionals and train them.

With a new director general at the DGCA's helm, plans are being drawn aimed at providing teeth to the country's extremely weak aviation regulatory mechanism. Apparently, the reworked action plan has been submitted to the FAA.

Any downgrading of aviation facilities in the country by the FAA is likely to have severe repercussions for domestic aviation as airlines and airports will come under severe regulatory pressure internationally.

The reworked action plan has a short-term and long-term component. While some immediate remedial steps will be initiated over a period of four months, long-term measures will unfold over a period of four years.

DGCA officials said that recruitment of 400 staff is on the cards. They say that at least 110 posts have been lying vacant, which, over a period of time, have been allowed to lapse. Till such time as these posts are filled up staff may be taken on contract.

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DGCA seeks ICAO expertise to help meet safety norms