Air India has received conditional approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to resume using its flight simulators for pilot training and certification. This development comes after the DGCA suspended Air India’s training license in September following concerns about procedural lapses.
- The DGCA’s decision to conditionally reinstate Air India’s training license was based on a spot check of the airline’s training facilities.
- The inspection revealed that Air India had not been adhering to proper procedures, including the expiration of the simulator’s quality manual and the absence of an assigned quality control officer.
- In response, Air India has submitted newly developed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for preventive maintenance checks and an updated quality manual for its simulators to the DGCA.
Internal Audit and Compliance:
- Under the conditional reinstatement, Air India has a 30-day window to conduct an internal audit of its training facilities.
- The findings of this audit must be shared with the DGCA, demonstrating the airline’s commitment to addressing and rectifying the issues that led to the initial suspension.
Critical for Pilot Certification:
- Air India employs approximately 2,400 pilots, each of whom must undergo mandatory license renewals every six months using simulators.
- These simulators are also instrumental in conducting annual certification courses, instrument rating certifications, ground training refreshers, and aviation security training.
Positive Step Forward:
- The DGCA’s decision to conditionally reinstate Air India’s training license is a positive development for the airline.
- It is crucial, however, that Air India takes swift and comprehensive measures to rectify the procedural lapses that led to the license suspension.
- In 30 days, the DGCA will conduct a follow-up inspection of Air India’s training facilities to ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements.
- If the airline is found to be in full compliance, its training license will be fully reinstated.
Financial Struggles and Privatization:
- The suspension of Air India’s training license was a setback for the airline, which has been facing financial challenges for several years.
- Air India is currently undergoing privatization, and the suspension hindered its ability to train new pilots, potentially impacting its operations.
Safety and Competitiveness:
- The conditional reinstatement of the training license presents an opportunity for Air India to enhance its safety record and competitiveness within the Indian aviation market.
- Ensuring proper training facilities and procedures is vital for the airline’s success.
In conclusion, while Air India’s training license has been conditionally reinstated, the airline must remain focused on addressing the issues that led to its suspension. Timely compliance with regulatory requirements is key to enhancing safety standards and competitiveness in the aviation industry.