One of the senior most authorities at the Directorate of Air Safety, RS Passi has been brought to book and removed from the position. The action was taken on a complaint filed by SpiceJet to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief EK Bharat Bhushan on the case of how Passi's daughter, Garima Passi attained a pilot license under “extraordinary circumstances".
Garima eventually quit the airline last month.
After what comes as a first of any tangible action that is long overdue, the act was welcomed by aviation experts. A member of the government-appointed committee on aviation safety, Captain Mohan Ranganathan has been quoted as saying, “It sends out a clear message that however powerful one might be, if you're guilty, you'll have to pay the price."
Garima is one of the hundred other cases of pilots attaining licenses in spite of their lack of qualification or ability to fly. Garima was let out from the Sabena Flight Academy in Arizona, US, in 2008 on grounds of "fear of aircraft" that was found to be the case on evaluation. She later joined Amber Aviation (India) Pvt Ltd, a private flying school in Uttarakhand, where she finally got her pilot's licence.
Other DGCA officials are also under the scanner for rendering undue benefits to their children and misusing their authority. Bhushan had earlier sent directives to furnish information on “employment of their children".