Mumbai: India’s aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), plans to spend some Rs 300 crore on an e-governance and office automation project after non-profit National Institute for Smart Government (NISG) files a detailed report.
“NISG will make a comprehensive report on computerization of DGCA. We are expected to float a request for proposal (RFP) by March,” said E.K. Bharat Bhushan, director general of civil aviation.
An RFP is an invitation to companies to submit initial bids for a specific project.
All data of the regulator, including those on pilots and aircraft, would be automated, NISG chief executive Sanjiv Mital said.
DGCA’s functions include registration of civil aircraft, formulation of standards of airworthiness for civil aircraft, granting certificates of planes’ airworthiness, licensing of pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers, flight engineers, air traffic controllers and conducting examinations.
Sanat Kaul, a former joint secretary at the aviation ministry who represented India at the International Civil Aviation Organization, said technology can be used as a tool to prevent corruption.
“It worked well in the telecom industry. If it goes well, it should do good for DGCA as well,” he said.
“The automation is expected to be completed in two years,” Bhushan said. “All examinations, including commercial pilot licence and air transport pilot licences, would be online in three months.”
Aspiring pilots in India will be able to take online tests starting November and tests will eventually be evaluated instantly, removing the possibility for officials to fudge answer sheets to favour a few, Mint reported on 17 November.
India has around 10,000 pilots, with at least half of them without a job. The test is the first step for someone aspiring to fly commercial aircraft, where initial salaries are as high as Rs 1 lakh.
“The automations certainly work. It is extremely helpful for online examinations,” said Kaul.
NISG’s Mital said his organization will conclude the detail project report in three months and float a tender to select vendors.
“This can be done in two to three months,” Mital said. “Once the project is complete, DGCA can track any data in the system.”