Rajeev Chandrasekhar's official website - Member of Parliament

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Civil Aviation

RAJYASABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 322
To be answered on the 15th March 2012
Safety Norms of Domestic Airlines

 

322. SHRI BAISHNAB PARIDA:

         SHRIMATI GUNDU SUDHARANI:

         SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR:

Will the Minister of CIVIL AVIATION be pleased to state:-

a)      The details of each of the safety norms that every airlines is supposed to follow in the domestic sector;

b)      Whether it is a fact that the Financial Audit of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) found that major domestic airlines are flouting the safety norms;

 c)      If so, the details of airlines which have flouted the safety norms and each norm flouted by each airline and the reasons therefor; and

d)      The action Ministry is going to take on the defaulting airlines?

 

ANSWER
MINISTER OF CIVIL AVIATION
(SHRI AJIT SINGH)

a)      Every, airlines is required to follow provisions of various Aircraft , Rules, Civil Aviation Requirements and Instructions issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (I)GCA) from time to time.

  1. b)      DGCA has undertaken financial surveillance from safety perspective of scheduled domestic airlines viz. Air India, Air India Express, Alliance Air, Jet Airway:s, JetLite, Kingfisher Airlines, Spicejet, Go Air, IndiGo and Blue Dart in November - December 2011 in accordance with the provisions of Civil Aviation Requirement, Section 3, Series S,    Part I.

c)      The details of airlines which have flouted safety norms and the reasons given by airlines are annexed.

d)      Under the regulations, DGCA is empowered to take action against the defaulting airlines.

                                                                                                                                 Annexure

Air India Express

No

Discrepancy

Airline Response

1

Pending corrective actions on FOQA exceedences.

Counseling for all FOQA exceedences of Jun-Jul 2011 to be completed by 31 Jan 2012.

2

Pending PIB investigations due to non-availability of flight crew.

All pending PIB investigations to be completed by 29 Feb 2012.

3

Shortage of pilots, Check-Pilots, Instructors and Examiners and backlog of training

The deadline would be 30 Jun 2012.

4

Continuous shifting pilots between Air India and Air India Express without any laid down procedure

With regard to shifting of pilots between AI and AICl, it has been stated that AI pilots trained with AICL will remain with AICl for a period of five years. Necessary agreement to be obtained from AICL within 30 days.

5

Cancellation of flights due to acute shortage of pilots.

Winter Schedule 2011 has been drawn up taken into consideration actual availability of pilots. No new flights will be introduced.

6

Manual monitoring of Flight Duty Time Limitations.

Target date of implementation is 30th April 2012

7

No financial independence

As an independent AOP holder, AICL must have freedom to act independently on procurement of spares, expenditure on maintenance, etc.

 

Jet Airways

No

Discrepancy

Airline Response

1

Recruitment of pilots, backlog of training and shortage of trainers.

The deadline for compliance will be end Dec 2012. To be reviewed on three monthly basis.

2

International stations not audited by the flight safety department for the last two consecutive years. As per DGCA guidelines, international sectors are required to be audited once in two years.

Audit plan needs to be monitored closely. To be reviewed on three monthly basis.

3

Audit plan of 2011 of safety not fully complied.

4

In spite of low cancellation rate of flights (0.8%) in 2011, the airline has canceled 1/3rd of flights due to poor loads.

Flight cancellation due commercial reasons effected after ensuring that passengers are not inconvenienced and re-accommodating on other flights. The cancellation rate on account of commercial reason was 0.3% of total scheduled operations. Endeavour will be made to reduce this number further.

To be monitored on monthly basis.

 

JetLite

No

Discrepancy

Airline Response

1

Acute shortage of pilots and backlog of training due to shortage of TREs/TRIs/Cabin Crew

To be monitored on monthly basis.

2

Airlines do not possess software to monitor DFDR recoded parameter exceedences

JetLite has requested Jet Airways to provide AIRFASE viewer at their premises. Teledyne has agreed to provide viewer for JetLite on renewal of AMC and timeline for the same is 45 days.

Timeline is end Feb 2012

Spicejet

No

Discrepancy

Airline Response

1

Airlines do not have any qualified instructor on their Boeing 737 fleet for imparting training to the pilots.

Target date given by airlines is 30 Sep 2012. To be monitored on monthly basis.

2

FOQA counseling procedure needs a review, in view of the analysis of the past FOQA exceedence counseling procedure reporting format.

Process of exceedence reporting to the concerned crew is streamlined. Casual and inappropriate response to a specific exceedence is made unacceptable and system made more meaningful.

Alliance Air

No

Discrepance

Airline Response

1

Violation of CAR for non-pilot appointed as ED (Operations).

The present incumbent is officiating to the post of ED Operations and is engineering graduate. He is also type rated on AtR42 and CRJ700. To support the present incumbent, Alliance Air proposes to have one base manager (chief operations - a pilot with TRl/TRW rating) at each of their bases i.e. Delhi and Kolkata. ATR42 training captain will be positioned as a base manager at Kolkata and CRJ training captain as base manager at Delhi.

However, it is not acceptable. Appointment of ED should be made in accordance with CAR provisions before 31.3.2012.

2

Shortage of commanders in the airlines.

ATR42 (07)

P1                                    12

P2                                    30

CRJ (04)

P1                                   10

P2                                   13

No firm plan indicated to circumvent acute shortage. Flight schedule for ATR aircraft to be truncated to four aircraft and that of CRJ to three aircraft.

3

Shortage of pilots on ATR type of aircraft in violation of CAR provisions. Only one Instructor and one examiner is available for the entire fleet of 7 ATR type of aircraft.

Alliance Air has 3 TRls on ATR42 and one TRI is expected to join shortly.

One TRI has completed requirements for TRE and process will be completed in next two weeks.

Process has started for upgrading 02 ATR P1s for check-pilotship.

On CJR, there are 02 TREs, 02 TRls and 02 check pilots.

IndiGo

No

Discrepancy

Airline Response

1

The investigation procedure of incidents is improper as large numbers of incidents are closed after a Single page report investigation by the airlines without approval of DGCA.

PIB reports for minor incidents were prepared in a single page format. However, as advised this practice has been discontinued.

Close monitoring required to ensure that PIB investigations are conducted in an objective manner.

2

The details of snags reflected in the 'Snag Reporting Forms' indicate that few snags, are actually incidents. However the same were not reported by the airlines in violation of aircraft rules (Rule 77C). The airlines have therefore suppressed the information by not reporting of incidents.

All the snags have been reviewed with DGCA Air Safety. Some of the snags have been identified as incidents for which PIB will be convened and reports furnished.

IndiGo has constituted an internal committee for study of commonly occurring snags and findings of the study will be submitted by mid Feb 2012.

3

There is a shortage of Training examiners/instructors in the airlines.

Present strength of trainers is 50 and 44 are in process which will be completed from Mar to Sep 2012.

To be monitored on monthly basis.

4

Backlog in training of pilots also exists in the airlines.

As per the existing requirement, the airline will be able to meet the training requirement with existing number of trainers.

Kingfisher Airlines

No

Discrepancy

Airline Response

1

The airlines has a total of 64 aircraft in their fleet out of which 20 aircraft  (nearly 1/3rd fleet) is grounded due to want of spares, engines, components, etc.

Aircraft recovery plan is as follows:

A320

Aircraft 1                                   15 Apr 2012

Aircraft 2                                   30 Apr 2012

Aircraft 3                                   15 May 2012

Aircraft 4                                   15 Jun 2012

Aircraft 5                                   30 Jun 2012

ATR

Aircraft 1                                   10 Apr 2012

Aircraft 2                                   20 Apr 2012

Aircraft 3                                   05 May 2012

Aircraft 4                                   15 May 2012

Aircraft 5                                   25 May 2012

Aircraft 6                                   10 Jun 2012

Aircraft 7                                   20 Jun 2012

Aircraft 8                                   30 Jun 2012

Aircraft 9                                   30 Jul 2012

Aircraft 10                                 30 Aug 2012

Aircraft 11                                 30 Sep 2012

Aircraft 12                                 30 Oct 2012

2

There is a shortage of 12 engines for 7 aircraft of A320 family and 16 engines for 9 aircraft of ATR family.

3

Most of spares for ATR aircraft are not available viz. AC generator (Nil stock), propeller brake (Nil stock), turbine inlet control v/v (One), EEC (One) arid starter generator (03).

Kingfisher has long term contract with major suppliers of ATR and Airbus fleet. The agreement supports all rotables, consumables for entire fleet. Some of these agreements are on hold due to delay in payments but will be activated as soon as payment has been made. Until such time, Kingfisher will continue to procure parts on need basis.

4

The airline is doing cannibalisation of parts e.g. a total of 619 items have been removed from A320 aircraft VT-ADR till 17/11/2011.

5

MEL extensions have increased in the year 2011 indicating lack of spares in the stores.

MEL extensions were granted by DAW Mumbai.

6

A total of 24 pilots have left the airlines in the last two months.

The relieving of pilots has not impacted the pilot staffing number required for operating  fleet.

7

During winter schedule 2011, the airline did not operate 175 daily flights due to non-availability of aircraft.

Factual information.

8

Most of the employees have been paid salary upto Oct 2011

For Nov 2011, 60% employees have been paid salary. The remaining will be paid by 15 Jan 2012. For Dec 2011, all employees will be paid salary by 31 Jan 2012

Go Air

No

Discrepancy

Airline Response

1

Number of training captains is very less vis-a-vis total number of pilots in the company.

Total number of trainers are 12 (6 check in pilots, 2 TRls and 4 TREs). Five proposals have been submitted to DGCA and 04 additional proposals will be submitted by 31 Mar 2012 .

To be closely monitored.

2

Engineering Audits for the year 2010 have not been carried out as planned

Details of audit plan and compliance with corrective actions will be submitted.

The plan to be obtained and reviewed in a time bound manner.

3

FOQA counseling data is available only from May 2011 for operating crew.

Airline has admitted that they could not produce the records and given the commitment to complete documentation by Feb 2012.

4

Key positions in the company are vacant.

Proposal for one of current check pilot will be submitted to DGCA for the post of Dy. Chief of Flight Safety.

Head of Flight Operations place by end Feb 2012.

Both the functionaries to be selected and end Feb 2012.

5

Engineering department does not have software (Amos) to track/monitor inventory of aircraft spares and rectification data

Process for procurement of software has commenced. The election will be finalized by May 2012. Full implementation and functionality of software will happen in Mar 2013.

Airline to keep the deadline as end Dec 2012.

 

Air India

No

Discrepancy

AirLine Response

1

Delay in Incident Reporting and Investigation 

 

  • No prompt reporting of occurrences - violation of CAR Section 5, Series C, Part 1
  • Delay in conduct of PIB investigations - violation of CAR Section 5, Series F, Part 1
  • Status of PIS investigations for the year 2011

Air India has informed that there is NIL pendency in Boeing fleet. For Airbus fleet, there is shortage of suitable manpower in Flight Safety Dept at Delhi which has been a contributory factor in delay and level of investigation. Re-deployment exercise of suitable manpower in the Flight Safety

Department is already in the process and expected to be completed soon. As per Air Safety Circular 4 of 2011 all concerned have been advised to report any incident immediately by SMS/FAX/telephone/e-mail to the concerned authorities. Air India has also informed that there are occasional delays in the PIB investigation due investigation reports of the components involved in incident not being available from vendor on time. However in view of the ASC 4 of 2011 all concerned have been advised to strictly follow the time frame as specified by DGCA.

2

Crew Scheduling

 

Violation of CAR Section 8, Series A, Part I

 

  • Computerized System of Crew Scheduling is not available despite large number of crew
  • Rostering is done manually with pencil permitting alteration of data
  • Less number of cabin crew. being rostered for long range flights.
  • Repeated FOTL violations on long range flights

Air India has informed that they are in the process of implementing the Crew Management System being developed by M/s Sabre for all its entities including flight and cabin crew. As per the revised timelines submitted by Sabre, the expected cutover of the system is around March 2013 for flight and cabin crew. However, Air India is presently evaluating the possibility of using ARMS solution being developed for Air India Express, as an interim arrangement till Sabre solution is available.

No instance has been observed/reported where less number of cabin crew than stipulated by DGCA were scheduled on LR flights or any other flights. Sufficient number of crew are being scheduled as per the requirement. If the number of crew is less, then one cabin door has been made inoperative as per DGCA guidelines.

There have been no violations on FDTL. If there is any exceedence due unavoidable circumstances, the same is informed to DGCA

3

Training

  • Shortage of Trainers with Air India AOP
  • Violation of Operations Circular 10 of 2010
  • Simulators at Hyderabad need upgradation

-          Flight deck configuration not matching with simulator

-          Recurrent technical defects

Air India has informed that they have been continuously upgrading its senior Pilots to TREs/TRls and continue to make efforts to train the training captains in order to meet the requirement of Operations Circular 10 of 2010. With regard to proposal for upgradation of simulator at Hyderabad, Air India has informed that matter has been taken up with vendor and found not feasible due to Airbus aircraft data not available and new simulator is planned to be inducted shortly. The A320 simulators are 20-22 years old and the failures are due to ageing and spares issues.

4

FOQA exceedences

 

  • Boeing fleet:

- Closure taking lot of time

- Repetitive exceedences found before counseling done on the previous one

  • Airbus fleet:

-          More than 60% exceedences due to CAS speed high below 10000 feet, Taxi speed high on ground and High 'g' value in-flight

-          For Airbus fleet, time lag of around one month for receipt of data in Flight Safety Dept at Delhi for monitoring of exceedences

  • FOQA exceedences

-          Process to close the cases more than two months

  • No timely corrective action/delayed action to overcome deficiencies observed during FOQA analysis - violation of CAR Section 5, Series F, Part II

  • Timely counseling of crew members on the deficiencies observed not done - violation of CAR Section 5, Series F, Part II

Air India has informed that they are in the process of developing internal procedures to reduce the time period for counseling. As per current practice, the flight parameters of different types of aircraft in Airbus fleet are downloaded at various bases periodically on an interface unit and same converted to desired format at respective bases of Engg. and sent for FOQA monitoring. Since this process causes delay, the same is being reviewed.

5

Pending internal audits

  • Boeing fleet

-          06 for international stations

-          All carried forward to 2012

  • Airbus fleet

-          14 for domestic stations

-          10 for international stations

(Violation of CAR Section 8, Series A, Part II and Air Safety Circular 2 of 1995)

Air ·India has informed that new internal audit plan for year 2012 covers all pending stations and audits are scheduled to be carried out as per plan.

6

  • Grounding of Airbus aircraft

-          11 aircraft grounded due engineering

-          Few aircraft grounded due shortage of  engines and APUs

-          Shortage of spare engines and APUs for Airbus fleet

-          18 spare engines and four APUs available, but all of them are unserviceable

  • Inventory of spare parts removed from aircraft not properly maintained

  • Violation of CAR Section 3, Series C, Part II - degradation of the operator's capability below the required level

Air India has stated that out of 11 grounded aircraft, six have been made serviceable. One leased A-320, aircraft VT-EPF, which was on ground since 3.1.2011 due shortage of engines and spares, Air India Board has approved disposal through early lease termination and is under process with the lessor. Four aircraft have been grounded due to non availability of serviceable engines and APU. The main reason of non availability of serviceable engines and APUs is present financial crises being faced by Air India. Eleven A-320 vintage aircraft has been phased out and cannibalized after Ministry approval.

Some of the fast moving spare parts removed from these aircraft are being re-installed on other aircraft after servicing and some of these for which servicing facility is not available with Air India, are being sent to vendors for servicing