Active Stocks
Tue Jun 18 2024 15:44:35
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 181.15 -1.04%
  1. Power Grid Corporation Of India share price
  2. 331.70 3.17%
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 844.60 0.52%
  1. HDFC Bank share price
  2. 1,608.75 0.71%
  1. Wipro share price
  2. 491.85 3.04%
Business News/ Companies / News/  Air India's internal safety audits flagged for lapses in DGCA inspection
BackBack

Air India's internal safety audits flagged for lapses in DGCA inspection

Air India has been found to have fabricated safety audit reports in an inspection conducted by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The inspection team discovered that the airline had not actually performed routine safety spot checks as claimed in the reports.

Air India aircraft photographed at Mumbai International Airport on July 24, 2009. Photograph: ABHIJIT BHATLEKAR/MINTPremium
Air India aircraft photographed at Mumbai International Airport on July 24, 2009. Photograph: ABHIJIT BHATLEKAR/MINT

Officials have reported that a team consisting of two inspectors from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has identified deficiencies in Air India's internal safety audits.

As reported by PTI, the aviation regulator is currently investigating this matter. In response, an Air India representative mentioned that all airlines undergo routine safety audits conducted by regulators and other organizations.

"Air India actively engages in such audits to continually assess and strengthen our processes," the spokesperson said in a statement and added that the airline directly addresses any matters raised with the authority concerned.

As per the inspection findings submitted to the DGCA, Air India was obligated to conduct routine safety spot checks across different operational areas including cabin surveillance, cargo handling, ramp operations, and load management. However, during an unannounced examination of 13 safety checkpoints, the inspection team discovered that the airline had fabricated reports for all 13 instances.

Also Read: Boeing says deliveries of some 737 MAX planes to be delayed; Air India and Akasa Air may be impacted

"Moreover, when cross-verified with CCTV, recordings, auditee statements, shift register documents, GD (General Declaration) list, passenger manifest etc, it is understood that all the aforesaid 13 spot checks shown to be carried out in stations Mumbai, Goa and Delhi were verified and were established to have not been actually performed," the two-member team said in the 'Deficiency Reporting Form' (DRF).

PTI further reported that the inspection found that these reports "were subsequently prepared/falsified when demanded by the DGCA team".

Additionally, the inspection report highlighted that these falsified spot check reports lacked the signature of the Chief of Flight Safety (CFS), the authorized personnel for such endorsements.

Also Read: Air India Rebranding Highlights: Maharaja Mascot ‘lives on’, demise ‘exaggerated’, says CEO Wilson

The inspection team conducted their assessment at Air India's Gurugram office in Haryana over the course of July 25 and 26. Following the inspection, they documented the identified shortcomings in the Directorate Report Form (DRF).

When reached for comment, DGCA's Director General, Vikram Dev Dutt, stated that the regulator is actively investigating the issue.

According to the inspection report, the checklists were physically signed by an auditor from the Quality Management System (QMS) Department which does not fall under the approval and inspection scope of the DGCA and has different eligibility criteria/qualification industry standards.

The inspection report said the team did not find any written communication for the delegation of authority to the auditor. "Also other than verbal confirmation by CFS, there were no email correspondences and authorisation by the CFS for the aforementioned sport checks," it said.

As per the inspection report, regarding the Pre-Flight Medical Examination (alcohol consumption test of pilots), Air India claimed that it carried out the spot check but the team found that the airline's internal auditor "had not physically visited the facility which is mandatory to satisfy many items of the checklist".

"Also, the equipment details and test readings have not been noted on the checklist. Merely, all the points have been marked as satisfactory without actually performing the spot check," it said.

Regarding ramp services, the inspection group observed that the airline's spot check list indicated a specific individual as the responsible duty officer. However, during the designated shift, there was no personnel by that name present.

"It has also been confirmed by the auditee department that there were no spot checks carried out on the subject date in the said area. Merely, all the points have been marked as satisfactory without actually performing the spot check," it said.

PTI reported that as far as spot check in cabin surveillance was concerned, the inspection team found that the airline claimed to have done it on July 16, 2023, but it was not done and "the claimed auditor was merely travelling in the said flight as a passenger with family members".

Further, the inspection team said the airline was unable to provide the flight safety auditors list on time.

"Subsequently, the list was only provided at the end of the inspection which included the auditors of QMS as well whose qualification/eligibility is different from that stipulated in the FSM (Flight Safety Manual). As the QMS does not come under the ambit of DGCA, the CAR (Civil Aviation Requirements) doesn't specify the qualifications of the QMS auditors," the team said.

Further, the operator was unable to provide the actual flight safety auditors' list and their authorisations when sought by the inspection team to differentiate the flight safety from the QMS auditors, it added.

"All aviation companies, including Air India, are subject to regular safety audits by regulators and other bodies both in India and overseas.

"Air India actively engages in such audits to continually assess and strengthen our processes. We directly address any matters raised with the authority concerned," the Air India spokesperson said in the statement.

(With inputs from PTI)

3.6 Crore Indians visited in a single day choosing us as India's undisputed platform for General Election Results. Explore the latest updates here!

Catch all the Corporate news and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
More Less
Published: 26 Aug 2023, 12:45 PM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You