Restructure DGCA, make it multi-member: panel

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New Delhi, Apr 30 (UNI) Criticising the Government for failing to restructure the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), a parliamentary panel has suggested setting up an independent agency for inspections, audit and accident investigation.

''The Government has failed to take necessary steps to restructure and strengthen the regulatory authority-- DGCA-- in tandem with the growth of the sector,'' the Committee on Public Undertakings says in its report on 'Airports Authority of India-- Safety and Security Aspect.' It suggests making the DGCA a multi-member body, preferably a three-member, in place of the existing one-man Director General of Civil Aviation.

The Committee observes that airport directors cannot be entrusted with vast security-related reponsibilities after the privatisation of airports. Hence, they should be relieved of these responsibilities in the interest of national security.

''Instead, an officer of the Bureau of Civil Aviation should be put in charge of security at each airport, and the airport director made accountable to the security incharge,'' says the Committee, which tabled its report in the Lok Sabha yesterday.

Noting that the DGCA is ill-equipped to carry out safety inspection and audit of airport and airline operators, the panel recommends setting up an independent agency for such task, besides being responsible for accident investigation.

It also observes that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) cannot be allowed to be an air navigation services (ANS) provider in an environment where private airport operators are fast emerging.

''Therefore, a separate corporate entity should be created under 100 per cent Government ownership and steps taken to expeditiously make it a world class ANS provider,'' it says.

The Committee also calls for steps for upgrading and regulating ANS systems and equipment.

UNI YJ SG DB1141

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