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Financial stress not to affect air safety: Min

Source: PTI
August 03, 2010 14:21 IST
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Praful PatelIn the wake of the Mangalore air disaster which claimed 158 lives, government said on Tuesday it was in the process of framing fresh regulations to ensure that safety is not compromised on account of financial distress of airlines.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has started evaluating the financial health of the scheduled airlines and whether it has an impact on safety, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said in the Rajya Sabha.

In a statement on a calling attention motion on the Mangalore air crash on May 22, Patel said the Court of Inquiry headed by Air Marshal (Retd) B N Gokhale, going into the mishap, is expected to submit its report by August 31.

"The challenge before the DGCA is to manage phenomenal growth of air traffic without compromising on aviation safety," he said.

The DGCA has decided to carry out a special audit of airports identified as critical on a priority basis and review thoroughly the system and facilities at these aerodromes.

Most of the airlines, including the national carrier Air India, are going through financial crisis with mounting debts and losses.

Recommendations of the audit would be implemented by the Airport Authority of India within a month at 11 airports -- Agartala, Calicut, Jammu, Kullu, Latur, Leh, Lengpui, Mangalore, Patna, Port Blair and Shimla, he said. Patel said the matter would also be taken up with the defence ministry with regard to the defence airports.

The minister said the government is also considering a draft regulation on the concept of Safety Management System recommended by International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Moreover, three ICAO technical projects in the area of flight safety, aerodrome standards and navigation services have also been commissioned by the DGCA to enhance its safety oversight capabilities, he said.

Image: Praful Patel

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