DGCA taking steps to avoid air congestion, to double officers

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Mumbai, Apr 15 (UNI) The aviation sector will heave a sigh of relief as the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is contemplating putting in measures to avoid air congestion which is being the order of the day across the country causing discomfort to passengers and also to double its officers strength from the current 242.

Talking to newsmen on the sidelines of a five day Air Safety Programme organised by the Jet Airways, DG of Civil Aviation K Gohain said that a performance based navigation system would be put in place to reduce congestion. The distance of separation for landing would be reduced to three nautical miles from five nautical miles and the vertical separation would be reduced to ten nautical miles.

Admitting that air congestion was a major issue in view of increased fleet strength and routes offered by various airlines, Mr Gohain said DGCA would shortly be handing over its propsal to the centre on doubling its manpower, especially officers. He said manpower shortage was an issue that need to be addressed at the earliest and added that a detailed structural chart had been prepared and the same would be submitted to the government. The government was aware of the need to enhance the manpower strength.

Replying to a question, he said vacancies in DGCA was only approximately ten per cent and not as high as 50 per cent as was being quoted by some reports. Besides, DGCA staff were also being trained periodically both within the country and abroad to meet the needs of fast changing aviation scenario, he added.

Mr Gohain said that a new Safety Management System (SMS) would become mandatory for all Airlines to follow from next year.

Admitting that there were certain shortcomings and some reluctance on part of various airlines to make SMS mandatory, he expressed confidence that all the Airline operators would fall in line with the implementation of the new SMS.

Earlier, in his opening remarks to the five day programme, Jet Airways CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said the Airline was committed to consistently meet and exceed the most stringent national and international safety requirements. He said that the Airline would shortly carry out a Safety Culture survey within the organisation through the University of Illinois.

Jet Airways Vice President Opeations Safety and Quality Capt Hassan Al Mousawi said the initiative on part of the Ailine was keeping with its desire to embed a positive safety culture.

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