Senior Pilots to Serve One-Year Notice Period, Says DGCA

Senior pilots will now have to serve a 12-month notice period before joining another airline, with aviation regulator DGCA coming out with new rules. The notice period, however, may be reduced if the air transport undertaking provides a no-objection certificate to a pilot and accepts his resignation earlier than the period stipulated in the amended rules, as per the amended Civil Aviation Requirement (CAR).

Notwithstanding opposition from the pilots’ community, on the new rules coming into effect immediately, Jet Airways’ pilots’ union has voiced strong opposition to the DGCA decision along with National Aviators Guild (NAG) President D Balaraman who said “We seriously object to this new rule. We were opposed to it and we remain opposed to it. We will strongly protest this move along with all pilots from all airlines.”

Remote air traffic controllers a possibility in India

India is considering setting up remote air traffic control (ATC) towers to cut costs and overcome labour shortages. Remote monitoring will allow traditional concrete control towers to be replaced with dozens of high resolution, infra-red cameras around runways that feed live images to screens in buildings far from the airport. The technology will enable flights at multiple airports to be monitored from one location, reducing the need for air traffic controllers and physical towers at every airport.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has initiated a study on remote monitoring of flights, with a recommendation expected in September, one of the sources said. A decision to proceed could be a boost to companies like Sweden’s Saab and Canada-based Searidge Technologies that are already in talks with the airport regulator to bring the technology to India.

Regulations

The AAI is working with India’s aviation safety watchdog, the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), on the study and has sought information from countries where remote towers are in use, one source said.

The plan hinges on the DGCA’s approval, because remote tower technology is not standardised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, which is still drawing up regulations. In the meantime, countries follow their own safety guidelines.

Challenges

The bigger concern, however, is the transfer of data from the airport to the remote tower. An ATC official at India’s airport regulator said they are yet to understand how the data transfer will work, what medium will be used and what the backup will be. “If the (data transfer) medium goes blank, the airport will be cut off,” said the official, who did not wish to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Controllers would also need to be trained to recognise and adapt to local conditions, including weather and topography, of multiple airports instead of just one, the source added.

Rolls-Royce manager presented with Whittle Safety Award

The International Federation of Airworthiness (IFA) has honored Mike Gamlin, manager of air safety investigation at Rolls-Royce PLC, with the Sir Frank Whittle Safety Award.

The award was presented Sept. 20 at the U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) headquarters in Farnborough and recognizes outstanding contributions that advance the safety of aviation.

At the presentation, Gamlin said: “I’m humbled to receive this prestigious award from the federation.”

“I’m so pleased to present this award to Mike Gamlin at the U.K. AAIB for his long-standing contribution to aviation safety,” said IFA chief executive John Vincent.

“This award is granted in recognition of Mike’s dedication to ensuring the effective investigation of aircraft accidents across the globe. Mike is trusted and well respected throughout the international aviation community.”

The IFA board unanimously agreed that with a career of over 42 years at Rolls-Royce, the majority of which has been in an accident investigation role, Gamlin has provided a level of technical leadership and is recognized and appreciated around the world. He is responsible for leading, directing and coordinating the support of state-led safety related investigations of events, incidents and accidents involving Rolls-Royce civil and military products and systems.

IFA member Cranfield University, in their nomination, highlighted Gamlin’s integrity, focused on transparent, evidence-based and unbiased investigation techniques delivering continuous improvement to Rolls-Royce products.

Gamlin and his team have built an extensive network of relationships with key international safety investigation agencies, aircraft and engine manufacturers. They are said to be trusted and respected by their peers at all levels across the global accident investigation community.

This contributes to the effectiveness of the accident investigation process and thus the safety of the traveling public.

The award citation reads:

“In recognition of his contribution to aviation safety over more than four decades. In particular, the extensive work ensuring the effectiveness of accident investigation across the globe. He is trusted and well respected across the global aviation community.”

IAF chopper makes emergency landing

An Indian Air Force chopper, shifting a Special Task Force (STF) jawan wounded in a gun-battle with naxals, made an emergency landing today in Abhanpur area in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur district due to a technical snag.

There is no information on any kind of damage or loss when the helicopter landed on an open ground in Bharenga village on Wednesday, 27th Sept 2017.

“The chopper was on its way to Raipur from Narayanpur district to shift the injured jawan Antosh Markam to hospital in Raipur,” Special Director General of Police (Anti-naxal operations) DM Awasthi told.

However, the pilot landed the chopper after he found some technical problem, another chopper was immediately sent to the spot, to airlift the jawan who was later admitted in the Ramkrishna Care Hospital Raipur.