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NEW DELHI: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has given flying training organisations (FTO) 90 days to install high resolution cameras to maintain strict vigil for ensuring high standards of safety, quality of training and fairness of exams being conducted there.
A regulatory order issued Wednesday also directs flying schools to do proper flight data monitoring of training aircraft. The move is to ensure that these schools follow all safety standards and do not fudge students’ flying records by showing more flying hours by actually making them fly for much less to meet the required targets for getting commercial pilot licence.
Flight safety expert Captain Amit Singh pointed out the order to install cameras was first issued in 2013 to monitor activities in real time. “This is being implemented now, after nearly a decade, following complaints of irregularities against some flying schools and recommendations of several accident and audit reports,” he said.
Strict monitoring and surveillance of flying schools is required as they operate from both controlled airfields (regular airports) and uncontrolled ones (airstrips with hangars). There have been some serious accidents in past few years during training flights.
“All FTOS shall install cameras of high resolution in FTO premises to ensure proper visibility of flying training activities. Cameras should be installed to cover: apron area, hangar, taxiway, runway, classrooms and examination rooms,” Wednesday’s order that gives a 90-day deadline says. Some exams will now be carried out at FTOs only by providing live feeds.
Flying schools have also been directed to do proper flight data monitoring of trainer aircraft. Many such aircraft are equipped with glass cockpit that can record flight data and also monitor flight path. Using this data will enable better training quality and surveillance, the regulator says.
Accordingly, FTO have been directed that those schools “operating with aircraft equipped with glass cockpit… shall monitor, analyse and maintain data from the date of issue of this circular.” FTOS operating with aircraft not pre-equipped with glass cockpit “shall devise a method within 90 days for recording and monitoring of flights to check if flight path flown by their trainee pilots and instructors are as per flight authorisation.”
“FTO shall install/carry an equipment which automatically records at least (these) parameters: Engine start/stop time-as feasible; flight path followed; height and speed of aircraft at all times.”
This data has to be maintained by all FTOS and safety manager shall carry out flight data analysis of at least 25% flights of the FTO on daily basis and maintain record of analysis.
“The FTO shall ensure the surveillance cameras are functional (during flying activities) and camera feed must be displayed in chief flight instructor (CGI), deputy CFI and flying instructor room. The FTO shall ensure that the recording of glass cockpit or any other monitoring device is functional during flying activities. In case the same is nonfunctional, then FTO should intimate (DGCA) immediately via email and take action to make it functional within 15 days,” it says.
Camera recording will need to be preserved for at least 30 days. “The objective of this circular is to enhance DGCA oversight over flying training and ground training activities of FTO for improving the safety of operations and quality of training. This would also facilitate instructors in analysing the performance of the trainee pilots and investigations by DGCA,” it adds.