Dodgy appointment draws AI pilots' ire

Newly appointed ED (safety norms) of airline a safety-rules violator himself, says pilots' body


Sweta Ranjan | April 2, 2011

The Indian Commercial Pilot Association (ICPA) has opposed the appointment of  captain Subodh Nigam as the new executive director (flight safety) and has demanded for a probe into it alleging that he did not possess the required necessary qualification for the job.

The chief executive committee of the pilots association has written a letter to the  civil aviation secretary Nasim Zaidi demanding for Nigam’s removal as he violated safety norms.  He had been removed from the post of general manager (operations) and was appointed as the ED on Monday after ICPA had blacklisted him for violations in safety norms.

"In spite of being aware of the gross violation of air safety norms by captain Subodh Nigam, the management of Air India has yet chosen to give him this officiating position. ... In view of this, we would like a thorough investigation to be carried out regarding his case," ICPA general secretary Rishabh Kapur said in the letter.

Interestingly, Nigam was appointed as the officiating ED (flight safety) on March 28, the day on which the ICPA shot off a letter to Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav demanding his suspension alleging "he has flown on an invalid license and tarnished the image of the airline".

ICPA said Nigam has "flown on an invalid license for over six months in spite of not completing his mandatory DGR (Dangerous Goods Regulation) training at the Central Training Establishment at Hyderabad."

The pilots body had earlier accused Nigam of bargaining with protesting pilots on behalf of the management and of trying to "indtimdate" them.




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