DGCA suspends simulator training for A320 pilots at Air India’s Hyderabad facility

Mumbai:¬†Aviation watchdog DGCA has suspended simulator training activities for A320 pilots at Air India’s facility in Hyderabad, close on the heels of suspending the training activities for Boeing pilots at the Tata Group-owned airline’s facility in Mumbai, according to sources.

The two decisions by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in a span of just three days could pose operational challenges for Air India as currently the carrier cannot train narrow-body and wide-body pilots at its own training facilities.

“The DGCA has now suspended the simulator training activities at Air India’s facility for A320 pilots as well owing to certain lapses observed during an inspection,” one of the sources told PTI on Wednesday.

There was no comment from Air India on the regulator’s decision.

Regarding the inspection findings, a senior Air India official said that “whatever advice has been given by the regulator in its observations, we are looking into it and taking corrective measures”.

There was no immediate comment from DGCA.

The sources said DGCA’s decisions came against the backdrop of alleged lapses noticed during inspection of the airline’s training facilities.

Air India has two major simulator training facilities in Mumbai and Hyderabad.

The Mumbai facility is for imparting simulator training to pilots of its wide body fleet — Boeing 777 and B787 aircraft. The Hyderabad facility is for similar training for pilots of the narrow-body fleet, A320 planes.

Recently, a two-member DGCA inspection team found lapses in the airline’s internal safety audit reporting and the issues are being investigated by the regulator.

Air India, which is on the revival path, has placed orders for 470 narrow-body and wide-body planes, and is also hiring people at various levels as the carrier expands its operations.