New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) would soon be replaced with a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to regulate the troubled sector, which has been facing mounting financial and operational issues, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference here, the minister said a constitutional bill for creation of the new authority was likely to be introduced in the second part of the budget session of parliament.
"The CAA will be headed by a chairperson, who will be supported by director-general (DG) and seven to nine members. Chairperson, DG and members will be appointed by the central government on the recommendation of a selection committee," the ministry said in a statement.
"In this backdrop, the CAA would take over the responsibilities of the DGCA in areas like air safety, airspace regulation, setting aviation standards, licensing of airlines, pilots, air traffic controllers and consumer protection."
To strictly reinforce safety and security of millions of passengers, state-run and private airlines, their aircraft and operations, the minister said time has come to redefine the regulator's role and strengthen it. This is also needed to meet the challenges of the growing sector with financial autonomy to CAA to take expeditious decisions on all these issues.
"It (CAA) will have power and authority to call for information, including financial information, and conduct investigations, power to issue directions, power of seizure, punish operator, company or a government department, if they fail to comply with its orders or directions," the statement said.
"The authority shall have full financial autonomy and shall have a separate fund, the Civil Aviation Authority of India Fund, which will be used for all expenses of the authority in connection with the discharge of its functions including salaries."