New Delhi : With shortage of air safety regulators posing a challenge, India today proposed pooling of this expert manpower for South Asian region and creating a quality panel to be made available to all the eight countries.

The proposal on sharing of the specialised manpower was made at an aviation safety meeting here even as Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju underscored the need for making sky safer for aviation.

At the 24th Steering commitee Meeting of Co-operative Development of Operational Safety and Continuing Airworthiness (COSCAP)programme for  South Asia, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey asked countries to take advantage of GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system developed by India. “The manpower that we get is the same that is available to the private sector…(So) the challenge (before us) is how to recruit and retain the manpower. Even if we are not able to have people directly on our payrolls, can we think of preparing a  panel of safety regulators which is available to all the countries in this region,” Choubey said.

He expressed the hope that the participating members would deliberate on his suggestion. “It may be difficult for us to get people on a full time basis because we may not be in a position to pay them the same salary and remuneration that they will get in the private sector,” he added.

Terming manpower crunch as one of the challenges in the area of air safety, Choubey said pooling of such resources  would help in meeting the  shortage of this specialisedmanpower.

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