HC seeks reply on DGCA appointment plea

Delhi High Court. Photo by DH

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought the response of the Centre and airline regulator DGCA on a plea alleging appointment of airline employees as designated examiners (DEs) to conduct routine checks on the fitness of pilots.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued notice to the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA), the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Go Airlines Ltd seeking their stand on the petition which has also claimed that in one instance a person was appointed as DE without the requisite qualifications.

The petitioner, Yeshwanth Shenoy, has said that appointing DEs who are also in the employ of airlines is a serious conflict of interest, since if these examiners do not clear their own pilots it will affect their airline's operations.

Shenoy has alleged the DEs, therefore, "continue to clear unfit and incompetent pilots" for duty leading to endangering the lives of the passengers and people on the ground.

He has contended that despite several representations to DGCA, the regulator "has failed to take even baby steps to ensure the safety of passengers and people on the ground".

DEs are authorized to conduct pilot licensing skill tests, pilot proficiency checks and pilot-in-command upgrade route checks on behalf of DGCA, the petition has said.

Shenoy has sought directions to DGCA to examine and verify qualifications of every DE to ensure they meet the requisite standards in accordance with the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR).

His petition also seeks withdrawal of appointment of all DEs who were appointed in violation of the CAR and the pilots cleared by them be checked again by another qualified DE.

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