Govt scouting for aviation man to head DGCA

New Delhi: Government is scouting for an aviation professional to be chief of DGCA, which is being headed by an IAS officer since 2008, and an integrity certificate has also been made mandatory to get the job.

At a time when it has come to light that forged certificates are being used to get pilots` licenses, the government has insisted that the applicants must submit an integrity certificate and "a statement of major/minor penalties imposed, if any, during preceding 10 years". The licenses are issued by Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

The need for having an aviation professional to head DGCA was also being strongly felt as IAS officers have been heading the organisation which deals with matters that are essentially technical in nature.

The Civil Aviation Ministry has issued an advertisement which makes it mandatory for the applicant to have at least 12 years of experience in aviation, flying, aircraft engineering or airworthiness, besides five years of experience in administrative or financial disciplines.

Officers from the Indian Air Force(IAF) of the rank of Air Marshal are also eligible to apply for the post of Director General of the aviation regulatory body.

Kanu Gohain was the last technical man to head the DGCA and reached the top from within the organisation.

Senior IAS officer and India`s representative at the International Civil Aviation Organisation(ICAO) S N A Zaidi took over the reins of the aviation regulator from Gohain.

A senior officer of the body had even gone to court challenging the appointment of Zaidi on several grounds, including that he was not a technical hand.

After Zaidi was elevated as Secretary in the Civil Aviation Ministry, incumbent E K Bharat Bhushan, also an IAS officer, took over the post in December last year. Bhushan is also the Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser in the Civil Aviation ministry.

In its bid to promote safe and efficient air transportation, the DGCA lays down guidelines, rules and regulations on a wide range of aviation and related activities — from technical aspects of safety to checking undue hikes in air fares.

However, with the rapid expansion in aviation activities in India, new organisations like the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority are being set up to ensure that DGCA carries out its primary role of ensuring that flying is safe in the country.