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Rediff.com  » News » Govt appoints autonomous aircrash probe panel

Govt appoints autonomous aircrash probe panel

May 26, 2011 17:16 IST

A day after the Faridabad air crash that claimed 10 lives, the government On Thursday created an independent panel to probe major aviation accidents, separating the role of a regulator and an investigator which was being performed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation alone so far.

Aiming at creating an independent investigation system to match the growth in aviation resulting in rising number of incidents or accidents, an Accident Investigation Committee has been established to work under supervision of the Civil Aviation Ministry, an official spokesman said.

The five-member committee, to be headed by director of Air Safety, would have all its members from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. It would identify the causes of accident in an independent manner and assist the formal probe panels like courts or committees of inquiry.

AIC would draw up a formal procedure for notification of an accident or serious incident, assist the ministry to set up probe panels in cases of major mishaps and carry out investigation of aircraft accidents, the spokesman said.

It would also coordinate and provide support for the probe panels and follow up and monitor the compliance of the recommendations made in the accident and serious incident investigation reports.

The idea to separate regulatory and investigation functions, in accordance with recommendations of the United Nations body, International Civil Aviation Organisation, was mooted a year ago by then Civil Aviation minister Praful Patel soon after the Mangalore aircrash that claimed 158 lives.

So far, the DGCA, which frames aviation rules and regulations, also used to investigate air crashes, and find out whether its rules were being followed by concerned players or not.

On initial notification of accidents and incidents, the Regional Air Safety Officer concerned would forward the details of the accidents and incidents to the AIC.

After classification, minor incidents would be referred to the DGCA for probe while serious incidents and accidents would be investigated by investigator or Committees or Courts of Inquiry, the spokesman said.

The AIC would also review periodically all such occurrences and maintain a panel of experts in various fields of aviation to assist the investigation process.  The fields from where these experts would be called would include accident investigation, airworthiness, meteorology, flight operations and air traffic management.
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