The approval for Boeing 737 Max operations in India may take some more time as the regulator is closely monitoring the aircraft’s performance.
Accordingly, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is closely watching the performance of the aircraft in foreign jurisdictions.
Till March 9, 14 airlines globally have returned the aircraft into service.
“We are getting weekly updates on the performance of the aircraft,” said Arun Kumar, Director General of DGCA.
“Eventhough, FAA and EASA have approved the return of the aircraft. We will conduct our own due diligence.”
The Boeing 737 Max aircraft was grounded worldwide in 2019 after two fatal crashes.
In India, SpiceJet is the only operator of Boeing 737 Max aircraft. It has 13 such aircraft in its fleet.
Besides, Kumar said India’s aviation safety ranking is expected to improve as the International Civil Aviation Organisation will conduct an audit of the sector in the coming months.
The improvement is expected to be attained on account of DGCA’s licensing of air traffic control officers (ATCO).
Earlier, the licensing of ATCOs was handled by the Airports Authority of India. ICAO had red-flagged the practice during its last audit.
The expected improvement in raking will enable smooth entry of India’s airlines into foreign long-haul markets.
In addition, Kumar pointed out that the regulator’s e-governance initiative ‘eGCA’ will be completed within the first quarter of FY22.
The project envisages to bring all the functions and services provided by the DGCA to an e-platform.
At present, services pertaining to pilot licensing, medical examinations and flying training organisations have been launched via ‘eGCA’.
(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)