'India's aviation safety record poor'

In almost all critical elements of ICAO’s safety oversight system - primary aviation legislation, specific operating regulations, safety oversight functions, technical guidance material, qualified technical personnel and resolution of safety issues - India lags behind world averages.

Pointing out that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) failed to implement some of the critical safety requirements, the audit rated the country's safety standards at 8.79 per cent with 0.88 per cent follow up action.

Another ICAO document - South Asian Safety Issues - notes that compared to airports in other South Asian countries, airports in India have not installed the minimum safe altitude warning systems which provide ground-based warning to aircraft which are likely to go below the minimum decent altitude, a point which is among the subjects of investigation in the Mangalore air crash.

The 2006 ICAO audit also notes that India aviation authorities have neither implemented a runway safety programme nor put in place acceptable levels of air traffic control safety within its airspace.

The problem is compounded by the lack of well-defined training programmes for technical personnel who are mandated to perform safety oversight at all the airports across the country.

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