By Rohit Vaid
New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) Keeping the rising air traffic in mind, Indi’s civil aviation regulator will conduct a safety audit of the country’s largest airline IndiGo and Tata Sons-Singapore Airlines backed Vistara from Tuesday.
“Every aspect pertaining to operational safety will be audited, especially the newly laid down protocols keeping Covid-19 in mind,” a senior DGCA official told IANS here.
“We are seeing a steady rise in traffic and this growth calls all stakeholders to maintain the highest safety standards,” he added.
Besides operational safety audit, financial reviews are also being conducted.
“Financial audit ensures that no compromise is being made with safety issues due to strained financial condition of the airlines,” he said.
The development assumes significance as India’s civil aviation sector has shown signs of revival in passenger traffic growth.
At present, the Centre has allowed the airlines to deploy limited domestic operational capacity up to 60 per cent from an earlier 45 per cent, post the re-start of scheduled domestic flights from May 25, 2020.
On a daily average, passenger traffic has reached the 100,000-mark. This figure is expected to double by the festive season.
In July, traffic grew sequentially to 21.07 lakh from 19.84 lakh reported for June.
Nonetheless, traffic remained deep in the red on a year-on-year basis in July as it plunged by more than 82 per cent to 21.07 lakh from 1.19 crore passengers who were ferried during the corresponding period of the previous year.
Till now, the regulator has maintained a delicate balance between reintroducing some of the suspended safety norms owing to the Covid-19 outbreak, giving some relaxation in terms of administrative requirements to the sectoral players and crew.
Recently, DGCA had instructed the airlines to re-commence the pre-flight breath-analyser test to detect alcohol consumption on air crew members.
However, the instructions to airlines limits the BA tests only on a limited number of air crew members.
Additionally, safety audits are also being conducted on airports. Recently all major metro airports have been audited.
“Airports are being audited in a phase-wise manner. Despite Covid, audits will continue and no compromise with safety will be allowed,” he added.
(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at [email protected])