The DGCA, which found all Indian carriers were neglecting safety due to widespread sickness in the industry, made it clear that no airline would be allowed to take a “short-cut” on the safety front
New Delhi: After a rap from the aviation regulator for neglecting safety issues, Kingfisher Airlines on Monday submitted a detailed response to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) giving time-bound plans to resolve the lapses and discrepancies identified, reports PTI.
As civil aviation minister Ajit Singh asserted that there would be no compromise on aviation safety, Kingfisher officials submitted the airline’s response at the DGCA headquarters here, but no details were available.
A long list of discrepancies and violations by various airlines, including Kingfisher, had come to light in a financial audit carried out by DGCA which directed them to resolve all issues in a time-bound manner.
The DGCA asked the carriers to respond to the findings this week and take urgent action to rectify the situation.
“The civil aviation ministry will not tolerate any violation of safety norms. There will be no compromise on air safety,” the minister told reporters here.
“Basically, you need more training for pilots and crew.
All airlines have to do that. But this business has grown so fast in the last few years that some delays are taking place,” Mr Singh said in response to questions.
Pointing out the lapses and violations by Kingfisher, the financial surveillance report had said “a reasonable case exists for withdrawal of their airline operator permit as their financial stress is likely to impinge on safety.”
It had also come down heavily on Air India Express, saying “a prima facie case exists for restricting their operations in view of safety issues.”
Among various issues, Kingfisher was asked to submit a plan on recovery of its flights and recapitalisation of the airline by Monday. The airline has cancelled 157 flights in this winter out of a total of over 400 allotted to it.
Kingfisher CEO Sanjay Aggarwal had earlier told PTI that the DGCA had carried out two safety audits of Kingfisher in the past three months and there were “no significant findings”.
Twenty of the 64-aircraft fleet of the Vijay Mallya-owned airline are grounded for a “multitude of reasons”, including want of engines, spares or reconfiguration of seats, he said.
The DGCA, which found all Indian carriers were neglecting safety due to widespread sickness in the industry, made it clear that no airline would be allowed to take a “short-cut” on the safety front.
Apart from cancellation of flying permits, the report suggested steps like slashing of flights or asking the carriers to fly a lesser number of aircraft which they can properly maintain.
On receipt of responses by all airlines by this weekend, the DGCA would study their plans on how they would go about resolving the problems identified in the financial surveillance, which was carried out for the first time.
Issues like maintenance of aircraft, shortage of commanders, pilots and cabin crew, lack of adequate training, scarcity of aircraft engines, components and crucial spares, were found in the study.
It was also found that while IndiGo did not report incidents which compromised safety, cargo carrier Blue Dart does not have the technology for two-way communication with its planes. Alliance Air appointed a non-pilot as the chief operations officer, thus flouting mandatory norms. All Indian carriers faced severe shortage of aviation safety officials.
“The price of diesel can be increased only in small instalments. Economy is largely depending on diesel price. Any increase in price will have a cascading affect. Therefore, any increase should be done carefully,” oil minister Jaipal Reddy said
Hyderabad: Oil minister Jaipal Reddy today said the government will take a decision on increasing diesel prices at an “appropriate time”, reports PTI.
He also said it is difficult to implement deregulation of diesel prices.
“The price of diesel can be increased only in small instalments. Economy is largely depending on diesel price. Any increase in price will have a cascading affect. Therefore, any increase should be done carefully,” he said.
“At the moment the inflation is coming down. Therefore, we will wait for the appropriate moment and will talk to state governments and take decision at appropriate time,” he added.
Replying to a query on deregulation of diesel prices, the minister said it cannot be implemented soon. “It is for economist to give advice. For politicians, it is difficult to implement,” he said
Mr Reddy also denied that the decision on diesel price hike is linked with the ensuing assembly elections in five states.
The government had in June 2010 deregulated or freed petrol prices from all price controls, but diesel prices are regulated and are highly subsidised.
On the payment issue to Iranian oil companies, Mr Reddy agreed that issue is problematic and the government is trying to resolve it.
“New problems are no doubt arising with the sanctions.
However, I would like to assure everybody there will be no supply problems of oil and oil products for the consumers. We are trying to solve the problem of payments to Iran,” he said.
India gets about three-quarters of its crude needs through imports and Iran is its second-largest supplier after Saudi Arabia.
Trouble started for Indian oil companies after US president Barack Obama signed a Bill into law late last month empowering US authorities to impose penalties on foreign banks dealing with the Central Bank of Iran to settle oil import payments.
FICCI has chosen to defend a strange issue
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) strongly demanded the immediate release of seven directors of AMRI Hospital in Kolkata arrested after a devastating fire consumed 93 lives. While FICCI called the arrests ‘anti-industry’ and ‘non-discriminatory’, chief minister Mamata Banerjee hit back hard saying she did not want...