Pilot bodies seek immediate removal of DGCA after Kozhikode mishap

Major pilot associations have sought an immediate replacement of incumbent Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Arun Kumar in the interest of flight safety following the Kozhikode air mishap.

They have demanded that Arun Kumar be immediately replaced with a suitable candidate with substantial aviation knowledge and operational experience, to serve the country as the Director General of Civil Aviation.

In a letter to Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri, Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) and Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) pointed out that Arun Kumar, in a nationally televised interview conducted moments after the catastrophic accident of Air India Express Flight No IX 1344 at Kozhikode, referred to the deceased pilots as “fellows” and also said, “…and the landing it seems was not appropriate…”

The pilots allege that the DGCA has continuously diluted safety regulations such as Flight Duty Time Limitations which are meant to reduce fatigue-induced accidents, just to suit airline operators. “In fact, it is observed that the regulator has begun to act as a facilitator by constantly harassing professionals to suit vested commercial interests. All these factors have significantly contributed to vitiating the air safety ecosystem in India”, they added.

Blaming the DGCA they said that air accidents never occur because of one single cause or factor. They are always the unfortunate byproduct of systemic failures such as poor infrastructure, inadequate regulatory oversight and often, willful negligence.

“We, therefore, as a body of professional aviators, have lost complete faith and confidence in Mr Arun Kumar and thus, demand that he be replaced with immediate effect”, ICPA and IPG said in the letter to Puri.

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