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NEW DELHI : India’s civil aviation regulator seeks to strengthen its technical team by at least 1,000 people to ensure safety on skies and on-ground operations of airlines, said two senior officials.

“The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has set a target to increase its technical staff count by 1,000 employees by 2030, to 1,600-1,700, from its current strength of nearly 650 people," said one of the two officials seeking anonymity.

India witnessed a high number of incidents involving airlines in 2021-22, including rising instance of technical issues in aircraft of domestic airlines as they expanded flight operations after almost two years of covid-led disruptions.

According to government data, 478 technical snags were reported between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022. The maximum number of snags was reported by Air India (184), followed by IndiGo at 98, SpiceJet reported 77 incidents, Go FIRST (50), Vistara (40), and AirAsia India had 14 such incidents.

DGCA’s annual surveillance plan for 2023 will have 3,827 action points, up from 3,709 in 2022. The plan will ensure grater focus on air-worthiness of aircraft, air safety, airport standards, engineering, maintenance, and flying training organizations, among others, to improve the standards for India’s aviation ecosystem.

“There was a rise in occurrences of technical glitches in 2022. The regulator and civil aviation ministry both recognise that while civil aviation norms are in place, enforcement by airlines is sometimes not up to the mark. As a result, effective monitoring is required and hiring more people for the job is part of the solution," said a second official seeking anonymity.

As part of its continued efforts to strengthen regulatory standards, DGCA created 416 posts in August 2022, roping in technical staff. “Over 4-6 months, over 400 people are expected to be recruited. The process should be completed by year-end. This has to be done as the fleet size of Indian airlines is rising, and effective monitoring of all aspects of air safety must be enforced," he added.

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