Airlines under-reporting safety incidents: Puri

In Parliament, Union Minister says DGCA audit has revealed a severe shortage of skilled staff in key aviation departments.

On DGCA’s safety audit of airlines has exposed several serious deficiencies in the implementation of aviation safety norms.

In the Rajya Sabha on February 5, Puri said the aviation watchdog found airlines often ignored findings of Flight Operation Quality Assurance (FOQA) system that is supposed to monitor safety and efficiency of flight operations, ATC procedures and aircraft design/maintenance. FOQA data is recorded by all airlines every month to enable them to take corrective actions before problems occur. FOQA findings are kept confidential.

Puri’s reply also mentioned that the airlines were not reporting the safety incidents or occurrences properly due to paucity of skilled staff. “The Maintenance Control Centre (MCC) of the airlines were not adequately staffed with technically qualified personnel. Implementation of Safety Management System (SMS) was deficient,” he said.

Puri also said the quantum of Flight Data Recorder (FDR) data analysed under FOQA is not as per the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR). CAR are detailed laid down procedures by DGCA from safety perspective which are continuously updated. “Inspection schedules are not revised. Untrained staff were allocated at check-in counters. Flight Crew rostering software was not upgraded,” he stated

Pilots have been alleging that the rostering process is manipulated by the airlines maximizing their duty hours and compromising essential rest which could lead to pilot fatigue and endanger safety.

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