Safety first: DGCA asks flying schools to install high-resolution cameras in 90 days & do proper flight monitoring

NEW DELHI: In a bid to make pilot training safer and improve the quality of the same in India, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has made it mandatory for flight training organizations (FTO) here to install high resolution cameras “to ensure proper visibility of flying training activities.” This has to be done within the next three months.
FTOs have also been directed to do proper flight data monitoring in aircraft. Flying schools have been warned strict action will be taken for failing to comply with the new rules.
The regulatory move comes for stricter monitoring and surveillance of flying schools as they operate from both controlled airfields (regular airports) and uncontrolled ones (airstrips with hangars). There have been some serious accidents in the past few years during training flights.
“All the FTOS shall install cameras of high resolution in FTO premises to ensure proper visibility of flying training activities. The cameras should be installed to cover the following view: apron area, hangar, taxiway and runway, classrooms and examination rooms. Cameras should be installed and made operational within 90 days from the date of issue of this circular,” the circular says. Some exams will now be carried out at FTOs only by providing love feeds.
“The objective of this circular is to enhance DGCA oversight over flying training and ground training activities of FTO for improving the safety of operations and quality of training. This would also facilitate instructors in analyzing the performance of the trainee pilots and investigations by DGCA,” it adds.
FTOs have also been directed to do proper Flight data monitoring in aircraft. Many aircraft available for flying training are equipped with glass cockpit (Garmin G1000/ G3X etc.) which has a provision of recording flight data and/or fitted with ADS (B) which can also monitor the path followed by the aircraft. This provides an opportunity for enhancement of training, improve training quality and objective surveillance, the regulator says.
Accordingly, FTO have been directed that those schools “operating with aircraft equipped with glass cockpit or ADS (B) shall monitor, analyze and maintain the data from the date of issue of this circular.”
FTOS operating with aircraft not pre-equipped with glass cockpit or ADS (B) shall devise a method within 90 days for recording and monitoring of the flights to check if the flight path flown by their trainee pilots and instructors are as per flight authorization.
“FTO shall install/carry an equipment which automatically records at least (these) parameters: Engine start/stop time-as feasible; Flight path followed; Height and Speed ​​of aircraft at all times.”
This data has to be maintained by all FTOS and safety manager shall carry out flight data analysis of at least 25% flights of the FTO on daily basis and maintain record of analysis.
“The FTO shall ensure that the surveillance cameras are functional (during flying activities) and the camera feed must be displayed in the chief flight instructor (CGI), deputy CFI and flying instructor room. The FTO shall ensure that the recording of glass cockpit, ADS (B) or any other monitoring device is functional during flying activities In case the cameras/ADS (B) or any other monitoring device is nonfunctional then FTO should intimate (DGCA) immediately via email and take action to make it functional within 15 days .”
“CFI/Dy. CFI/Safety Manager of the FTO shall preserve the recording of the camera for at least 30 days and the flight data of all the devices for at least six months,” it adds.

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