Mint series on air safety issues (10-12 August) shows, there is a rot in our airline regulatory system. Badly trained pilots, unlicensed airports and understaffing of air traffic controllers now ensure that there are serious risks involved in air travel.
• Every touchdown faces a threat
If India’s aviation regulator were to decide one day to go strictly by its own book, flights to many of the country’s airports would be grounded.
As many as 70% of India’s public airports are not licensed, meaning claims arising from any accident on them wouldn’t be binding on insurance companies.
• Miles above in unsafe hands
Helped by easy recruitment rules and mushrooming growth in air traffic, the number of pilots employed with India’s airlines has more than doubled in the past five years.
• Safe Skies: A disaster waiting in the wings?
India hasn’t had a major accident involving a commercial airliner in almost a decade, during which the aviation market has expanded dramatically.
Click here to view a slideshow on aviation safety
• Non-scheduled airlines slip through DGCA’s safety audits
The whirring rotor blades of a helicopter decapitated a ground staff member of an air charter firm in Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand. He was approaching the chopper just after it had landed. That was in May 2007, a year in which aircraft accidents killed nine people countrywide.
• Surprise checks reveal varied violations
A crackdown by the regulator found over 4,000 “deficiencies” in 2009--from pilots flying without corrective glasses to airlines and charters operating with no flight safety departments.
Click here to read complete Air Safety Series