CASAC would give suggestions to Govt. on air safety issues: Praful Patel

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New Delhi, June 3 (ANI): Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel on Thursday said the newly formed Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council (CASAC) would give suggestions to the Government on various air safety issues, and the council would meet once a month for the next three months.

Patel said the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has sent a team to inspect the runways in India that have been classified as 'critical'.

"The DGCA has already sent 11 teams to inspect all the runways, which are classified as critical. Critical does not mean unsafe. These runways, wherever there are some constraints because of the topography of that land, such runways are inspected by the DGCA," said Patel.

"I am sure this entire exercise will be done within a week's time," he added.

The Civil Aviation Minister further said the DGCA would have full control over the workings of the new department, but if needed, a new legislation will be formed to empower it further.

"As far as the working of the DGCA is concerned, I can assure you that they have the fullest autonomy and will continue to have the fullest autonomy," said Patel.

"However, in future we will try to even bring about suitable legislations if necessary to further strengthen the DGCA, and empower it by appropriate legislation so that the autonomy of the DGCA is well respected," he added.

Earlier today, Patel inaugurated CASAC, the high-level aviation advisory body meeting, which met for the first time to review air safety issues.

The 28-member body, which is headed by Director General of Civil Aviation S. N. A. Zaidi, has been assigned the task to recommend best regulatory practices in air operations and other measures to beef up aviation safety.

The CASAC was formed by the Central Government a week after the ill-fated Mangalore plane crash.

The Air India Express flight from Dubai to Mangalore that crashed while landing at the Mangalore airport on May 22 claimed 158 lives. (ANI)

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