DCGA runs into legal hurdle, plans to up manpower delayed

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation's plan to recruit 130 airworthiness officers to overcome the severe shortage of manpower has hit a legal roadblock.

Two candidates ó who recently appeared for the airworthiness officers' exams ó have dragged the aviation regulator to the Central Administrative Tribunal, delaying the entire process by over 3-4 months.

The manpower shortage at DGCA is a major concern. It was raised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) as well in an air safety audit in 2009. ICAO is conducting an audit again this year.

According to earlier plans, the DGCA was planning to recruit 130 airworthiness officials before the ICAO audit begins. However, with the tribunal case, the process has been stopped.

"The ICAO officials are already here and the audit is going on. Last time they had raised an issue about the manpower crunch. We thought that we would be able to fill at least some gap, but with the matter going to the tribunal, there is nothing we can do now," a senior DGCA official said on the condition of anonymity.

The regulator at present has only 307 technical personnel against the sanctioned 574 posts.

Similarly, there is a shortage of manpower in group C and D which is mostly the clerical staff. Of the total 258 posts, only 174 posts are filled.

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