Government to expand manpower, capabilities of DGCA, BCAS: Jyotiraditya Scindia

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The Government of India is working to expand the manpower and capabilities of aviation regulators DGCA and BCAS. The news comes amid India’s civil aviation space projected to see massive growth in upcoming years.

The BCAS (Bureau of Civil Aviation Security) takes care of the security aspect while DGCA (Directorate of Civil Aviation) looks after the safety aspects of civil aviation.

Union Minister of Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia also reiterated on Friday that both the regulators are completely independent.

“My job is to ensure accountability, both on the safety side and the security side… Now, with the huge expansion we are seeing in the civil aviation sector, (it is) even more pertinent that we augment the staffing and capabilities of both DGCA and BCAS. That is something that I am working on as we speak,” he said.

India is projected to have more than 400 million air travelers (both domestic and international) in the coming years. The number of planes with Indian carriers is also expected to reach a level of around 1200. Also, the number of airports, heliports and waterdromes is also estimated to rise to the level of around 220.

The current manpower and staff requirements at the regulators could not be immediately ascertained. After two years of setbacks due to the pandemic, the country’s civil aviation sector is on a path to recovery.

In response to a question about the disinvestment of Air India, Scindia stated that ministers and bureaucrats handling the day-to-day affairs of public sector undertakings is not a good sign, adding that the government’s role should be that of a visionary.

“My hands are quite full with or without Air India. While I was the minister, I did not interfere in the day-to-day affairs of Air India.

“I am very confident that under the new management, it (Air India) will soar to new heights… with fleet expansion plans, a reservoir of expertise on IT and hospitality fronts, I believe that lot of that should come to bear on the value proposition of customers of Air India in the days to come,” Scindia said.

In January this year, the Tatas overtook loss-making Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express.

The minister was speaking at a session at the Economy Summit organised by Business Today.

The minister also claimed that once the FAA and EASA give their approvals to Electric Vertical Take off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, that will be the next technology paradigm in the aviation sector. FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) are American and European aviation regulators, respectively.

“That (eVTOLs) industry must also make its core base in India. That is one of the things that I am exploring as we talk today,” Scindia said.

eVTOLs which are currently deployed by US and Canadian Air forces will go for a certificate from FAA and EASA once there is a Proof of Concept (PoC)

Scindia also said that civil aviation has been part of “our DNA for a very very long time”.

“We had seaplanes in India in the 1910s and 1920s… We had a seaplane landing in a man-made lake in Gwalior way back in the 1910s, 1920s,” he added.

With Inputs from PTI.

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