BCAS to hire around 500 personnel
Country's nodal aviation security body Bureau of civil Aviation Security of India (BCAS ) is in the process of hiring around 400-500 personnel, which would help it tide over the acute manpower shortage ahead of India's aviation safety audit by the UN aviation watchdog ICAO.

Besides, the Finance Ministry has also given its go ahead to the Civil Aviation Ministry to induct 21 personnel at different levels in the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) as well, they said.

The ICAO audit, the third in last nine years, would take place in November this year and cover issues such as aerodrome operations, air traffic control, air navigation and aircraft investigation mechanism.

"Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) is being revamped and strengthened with the hiring of 400-500 personnel. The hiring process is expected to be completed soon," sources said.

Revamping of the short-staffed BCAS is one of the key issues the government has to address before the aviation safety audit by the ICAO.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation had engaged an expert team of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in 2011 for making suggestions for restructuring of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) and for sufficient operational infrastructure for aviation security.

The hiring is in line with the recommendations of the expert team on the requirement of manpower in BCAS, they said.

"The Finance Ministry has also given its approval to a Civil Aviation Ministry's proposal to hire 21 personnel for the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau at different levels including investigators, which is currently being headed by a senior DGCA official," sources said.

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As per the ICAO guidelines, the Bureau has to function as an independent entity.

The Bureau was carved out of the DGCA in 2012 and mandated with the investigation of all major aircraft accidents in the country.