The Directorate General of Civil Aviation ( DGCA) has stepped up the audit of private business jet companies keen to fly abroad.
According to sources, the audit has been fasttracked so that the issue of meeting international norms by these companies can be taken up with the US Federal Aviation Administration ( FAA).
The DGCA expects to finish the audit of non- scheduled air operators ( NSAOs) by Mayend so that they can move the FAA in June. The problem concerning overseas flights of NSAOs started early last year when the DGCA banned 44 private charter companies, or NSAOs, from operating abroad.
The regulator is conducting audits of around 44 of the 115 NSAOs that are interesting in continuing their operations abroad. However, the audit has come at a time when NSAOs' business is at peak due to the ongoing campaign for the Lok Sabha elections.
Some NSAOs have said that the government could have either done the audit a little before or after the elections.
The DGCA has been conducting surprise checks on a regular basis after the FAA downgrade of Indian aviation safety.
The DGCA started the audit two weeks back, but has checked only four or five NSAOs so far.
The regulator had suspended the licence of Eon Aviation, a subsidiary of 2G scam- accused Shahid Balwa's DB Realty, following an examination last August. Eon Aviation, whose planes were hired by top politicians and high net worth individuals, was among the four companies examined in August 2013 by the DGCA and International Civil Aviation Organization ( ICAO).
This was part of the ICAO audit of the DGCA after the Organization had raised two significant safety concerns on Indian aviation. Besides Eon, Reliance Commercial was also examined during the ICAO audit and these companies were chosen by the random sampling method.
ICAOs raised fears over the DGCA's lack of airworthiness checks on NSAOs after being modified during repairs.
Operation schedules and the licensing process had also come under scanner. Last week, the DGCA issued orders to NSAOs involved in poll campaigns to report and provide detailed account of their day- to- day operations every Monday.
A special cell has also been set up within the DGCA to monitor the flights of all these charter operators on a regular basis.
The audit has been fast- tracked so that the issue of meeting international norms by private jet companies can be taken up with the FAA.