The chief of flight safety of Air India has been placed on administrative leave for one month by the body that oversees civil aviation after an examination uncovered flaws in the company’s accident prevention procedures.
According to the Directorate of Civil Aviation, surveillance on Air India’s 121 aircraft fleet’s “internal audit, accident prevention work, and availability of required technical manpower” was conducted on July 25 and 26.
“The DGCA surveillance found deficiencies in the accident prevention work carried out by the organization and the availability of the requisite technical manpower as required in the approved Flight Safety Manual and the relevant Civil Aviation Requirements,” the civil aviation regulators stated in a statement.
It continued, “Further, it was observed that some of the internal audit/spot checks claimed to have been performed by the airline were done in a perfunctory manner and not in accordance with the regulatory requirements.”
Following an assessment of the airline’s action taken report, the DGCA sent show-cause letters to the affected postholders.
“Based on the review of the replies received, the airline has been directed not to assign any audits/surveillance/spot checks pertaining to compliance of DGCA requirements to the particular auditor involved in the perfunctory inspections which indicate lack of diligence,” the civil aviation regulator stated.
“Furthermore, the approval of M/s Air India’s Chief of Flight Safety has been suspended for a period of one month due to the lapses established,” it continued.
The action was taken shortly after press reports claimed that the DGCA inspection team had discovered flaws in Air India’s internal safety audits. The airline “actively engages in such audits to continually assess and strengthen our processes,” according to a representative for Air India at the time.
Passenger safety is the primary concern for the DGCA, and there cannot be any compromises on that front, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia stated during a briefing last year.