Aviation department under scrutiny commercial jets over India narrowly avoided collisions 9 times since January

Aviation department under scrutiny commercial jets over India narrowly avoided collisions 9 times since January 

Even as Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is gearing for US Federal Aviation Administration (USFAA) team for lifting safety downgrade on the Indian civil aviation sector, nine air misses involving India's commercial Airlines have already taken place this year.
These nine incidents, which include the latest Jet Airways goof-up, will weaken India's case for lifting the safety downgrade of the country's civil aviation sector in January this year.
According to official sources, the goof-up involving Jet Airways Boeing 777-300 ER that suddenly descended 5,000 feet below its designated Flight path over Turkey's Airspace will prove to be embarrassing as it was not immediately reported to the DGCA.

A top government official said the Jet incident exposes how ill-equipped the DGCA is as it remained clueless for an entire week after the incident.
The regulator must have its own internal intelligence network. If it fails to know of what is happening within the Airline, the concept of having a regulator is lost, the official explained.
Though the DGCA has initiated action against Jet Airways for concealing the incident, sources said the damage has already been done.
The Jet incident could have proved dangerous as another plane could have been Flying in the additional Flight corridor created vertically below with an approximate separation of 3,000 feet on the Asia Europe air route through Turkey's Airspace.
A top DGCA Official told Mail Today that most Indian carriers, barring Air India, do not have an adequate number of qualified instructors to train their Pilots.

After Jet, DGCA would also conduct a Training Audit of other Indian carriers to maintain better training standards as per the international norms.

You cannot have a Pilot with a laid back attitude. They must be sensitive enough and be adequately trained from time to time which is not followed by most carriers as the cost of training is very high. We are also asking other Airlines, besides Jet, to streamline their training of Pilots. The Airline will have to strictly enforce stringent training standards, he added.

Another Civil Aviation Ministry official disclosed that some Airlines have been skipping periodical training programmes for Pilots during the winter and monsoon season.
We have been complaining about this for very long. Airlines have largely bunked the norms in this regard, he said.

Flights connecting Europe and Asia are currently not flying over Ukraine where a Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane was shot down last month.
Similarly, Iraq's Airspace has also turned into a war zone and is being avoided.
This leaves only one path over Turkey's airspace for the Europe-
Asia sector, making it one of the busiest Air routes in the world. Meanwhile, the DGCA has set up a three member team to review Jet Airways' Flight Training Programmes and facilities following the incident.
One of the issues that led to the downgrade of India's Aviation sector by USFAA was lack of chief Flight operation instructors.
This issue is likely to crop up again as the DGCA has managed to appoint only 35 of 75 such instructors required by the US Aviation Regulator.

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Mohini Porwal [ B Sc]
Trainee News Editor
Indian Aviation News Editor