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"India's aviation watchdog DGCA to get powers to impose penalties"


 
Sunday, May 28, 2017

Aviation watchdog DGCA to get powers to impose penalties
Press Trust of India


NEW DELHI - The government plans to provide the Directorate General of Civil 
Aviation (DGCA) with powers to impose penalties for violations.     

The proposal, which has been in the works for some time, would give more leeway 
for the regulator in taking enforcement actions against erring entities. Moving 
ahead, the Civil Aviation Ministry has already started work to amend the 
Aircraft Act, 1934.   

 A senior Ministry official said the idea is to have "more graded granular 
penal provisions" for the DGCA in dealing with violations. The proposal also 
comes at a time when the country's domestic aviation sector has been seeing 
healthy double-digit growth for over two years and entry of more new players 
are expected.     

At present, the DGCA has the penal power to cancel the license of an airline in 
case of a violation which is "very harsh", the official said.     

According to the official, the amendments concerned are being worked out and 
after getting the Cabinet approval, the same is likely to be taken up during 
the Monsoon Session of the Parliament. There are stringent provisions in place 
for the DGCA to deal with violations at various levels, including those related 
to airlines, pilots, crew members and other entities.     

The watchdog can debar, suspend and even cancel the permission to fly for the 
carriers as well as individual pilots and engineers. However, it cannot impose 
any monetary penalty. In recent times, the Ministry has been working on ways to 
bolster the regulatory framework, including to deal with unruly passengers. 
There are more than ten domestic scheduled commercial airlines operating in the 
country.   

Domestic air passenger grew little over 15 per cent in April as carriers flew 
91.34 lakh passengers. In the same period a year ago, the airlines carried 
79.32 lakh people.
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