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Private aircraft operators say DGCA putting US downgrade blame on them

Saturday, 5 April 2014 - 9:50am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Private business aircraft companies in a complaint to civil aviation ministry have alleged that the Indian aviation regulator Director General of Civil Aviation is creating misplaced impression that downgrading by US's Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) of it (DGCA) happened because of private aircraft operators.

In the past few weeks, DGCA, has so far conducted around 10 surprise checks on private aircraft of 45 planned. A complaint regarding this has also been sent to DGCA headquarters in Delhi.

Business Aircraft Operator's Association (BAOA), in a letter to the civil aviation ministry on Friday, said it was dismayed to find that undue and subjective publicity is being given to the inspection reports of DGCA involving non-scheduled private aircraft.

The letter said the recent downgrade of DGCA by FAA was due to shortage of qualified staff for carrying out operations and airworthiness inspections of the aircraft.

Capt R K Bali, secretary, BAOA, said, "Reports in media initiated by DGCA are a clear attempt to detract attention from the essence of this issue and shift blame of FAA downgrade to private aircraft operators. It is important to note that the FAA downgrade has no direct relation to non-scheduled operators in specific and is more a result of deficiencies on the regulator's part."

Industry sources said most of these cases brought to light have been minor and level 2 observations, which do not even prescribe the grounding of aircraft or penalties.

Private operators in India operate more than 552 aircraft, which are being frequently used by business honchos.

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