Sending a tough message, the civil aviation regulator has suspended Air India's Chief of Flight Safety for a month after an inspection found lapses in the carrier's accident prevention protocol.
The Directorate of Civil Aviation has said a surveillance was carried out on July 25-26 on "internal audit, Accident prevention work and availability of required technical man power" in Air India, which boasts of a fleet size of 121 aircraft.
"The DGCA surveillance found deficiencies in the accident prevention work carried out by the organization and the availability of the requisite technical man power as required in the approved Flight Safety Manual and the relevant Civil Aviation Requirements," the civil aviation regulators said in a statement.
"Further it was observed that some of the internal audit/spot checks claimed to be carried out by the airline were done in a perfunctory manner and not as per the regulatory requirements," it added.
After reviewing the airline's action taken report, the DGCA issued showcause notices to the post holders concerned.
"Based on the review of the replies received, the airline has been directed not to assign any audits/surveillance/spot checks pertaining to compliance of DGCA requirements to the particular auditor involved in the perfunctory inspections which indicates lack of diligence," the civil aviation regulator said.
"Further the approval of Chief of Flight Safety of M/s Air India has been suspended for a period of one month for the lapses established," it added.
The action comes nearly a month after news reports said the DGCA inspection team had found lapses in internal safety audits of Air India. An Air India spokesperson had then said the airline "actively engages in such audits to continually assess and strengthen our processes".
During a briefing last year, Civil Aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had said passenger safety in at the top of DGCA's priority list and that there cannot be any compromise on that front.
DGCA's tough stand on flight safety and maintenance followed multiple incidents of flight snags.