4,000 pilots licenses to be re-checked
The DGCA has announced recently that it will undertake the task of scrutinizing at least 4,000 commercial pilots licenses that were issued in the previous year. In light of police investigations and the arrest of two commercial pilots, and two other suspected pilots absconding, the DGCA has now decided to investigate the commercial pilots licenses it has issued in the past year. In addition to this, the DGCA has also set up an expert committee to examine the current system of examination for pilots and engineers, in order to come up with recommendations for revamping the current examination system and licensing procedure.
PSA’s view: The recent probe launched by the DGCA comes as a measure to curb and check the rampant fake documentation on the basis of which apparently several commercial pilots licenses have been issued. This recent expose has severely shocked passengers as well as the international aviation community, particularly since the lives of all passengers is in the hands of the pilot. The issue of commercial pilots having fake licenses is a serious cause for concern for the licensing authority, and has exposed the apparent lack of authenticity and checks that is required for obtaining such a license. Hopefully, the investigation by the DGCA will not expose an overwhelming number of “fake pilots” and will help identify the loopholes that exist in the present system.
GE Aviation and Air India sign MRO Agreement
GE Aviation, world’s leading provider of commercial and military jet engines has signed a 20 year engine maintenance agreement with Air India for GE-90 aircraft engines. The Agreement covers the MRO services for GE-90 aircraft engines. The Agreement signed between the two companies is valued at around USD 90 million out of which GE will contribute USD 20 million for setting up a new facility for MRO activities of GE-90 aircraft engines and remaining USD 70 million will be contributed by Air India. As per the agreement between the two companies, Air India will be responsible for the MRO services while GE Aviation will provide technical support.
PSA’s view: Air India has more than 40 years of experience in providing high-quality MRO services in India. Adding GE-90 engine overhaul service is the perfect expansion of Air India’s MRO capabilities. It is considered to be a major step in the Air India’s dream to become a global MRO service provider.
New Air Navigation Services Corporation soon
The government intends to establish an Air Navigation Services or ANS corporation which is expected to be functional by June 2011. This move comes almost 3 years after a high-powered committee had recommended segregation of the ATC services from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and to have an independent body for effective operation and management of such services. Currently, the ATC and Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) which are a part of the AAI. However, it is proposed that the ANS corporation would be a wholly-owned subsidiary of AAI for a few years prior to being converted into an independent body under Civil Aviation ministry.
PSA’s view: This is an important step since the integrated CNS/ATM planning functions were not being effectively managed due to the varied issues within AAI. This move would also assist in AAI focusing on its core competency of airport development and maintenance. Furthermore, with a separate member of ANS corporation appointed to the AAI board, there will be greater attention to the CNS/ATM services.