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Aviation regulator DGCA today informed the Delhi High Court that they have taken all necessary steps to ensure safety and security of aircraft and passengers in the country. The Director General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) made the submission in response to a petition alleging that aviation authorities were overlooking the prescribed maintenance schedules and seeking directions to ensure safety of passengers on aircraft flying in and out of India. "All these issues have been dealt with. We have already filed a detailed affidavit. I can take this court through all the steps taken by us.
The petitioner cannot be above the DGCA technical committee," DGCA's counsel told a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal. The counsel appearing for the petitioner said there were several vacancies in DGCA and proper monitoring of aircraft should be done by them. The bench then observed "How can the court go into these aspects? There is a ministry for this and DGCA is an expert body. They will do that." The bench fixed the matter for hearing on December 1. The petitioner, Alok Kumar, has given some suggestions like setting up of an independent expert committee to monitor the functioning of DGCA and ensure strict compliance by airlines operators of usage and maintenance of each aircraft. He has also suggested that existing vacancies in DGCA should be filled up and it should also install systems to monitor and check usage and flying hours of each aircraft. In its affidavit filed before the court earlier, DGCA has said they have been "carrying out review of airworthiness of aircraft every year. During airworthiness review, the maintenance carried out in the preceding year vis-a-vis approved maintenance programme are also scrutinised". While seeking dismissal of the plea, DGCA has said they had a "surveillance programme covering continued airworthiness management and aircraft maintenance of all the organisations to ensure that airworthiness and safety of aircraft are not compromised." The Centre had earlier refuted the claim that civil aviation authorities were overlooking the alleged violation of aircraft maintenance schedules by airlines, endangering passenger safety. Civil Aviation Ministry and DGCA had denied that various private airlines operating in the country were "violating/ circumventing the mandatory provisions for airworthiness and air safety".
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