Govt clears elevation of Arun Mishra as DGCA chief



New Delhi: Government has cleared a proposal to appoint Arun Mishra, India's Permanent Representative to UN-body International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), as head of aviation regulator DGCA.

50-year-old Mishra, whose term at the ICAO headquarters in Montreal ends this week, is likely to take over as full- time Director General of Civil Aviation early next month, official sources said.

They said a formal notification would be issued soon.

The post of the DGCA is currently being headed by Prashant Sukul, a Joint Secretary in the Ministry, after the abrupt ouster of E K Bharat Bhushan last Tuesday.

A 1986-batch West Bengal cadre IAS officer, Mishra's tenure of central deputation ends in August this year. However, the sources said the state government has given a no-objection to his continued deputation at the Centre.

The crucial office of DGCA is in charge of a large number of regulatory issues, including aviation safety, efficiency, formulation of air law framework, licencing of aviation companies, pilots and aircraft engineers.

The regulatory body is itself slated to be converted into the Civil Aviation Authority through an Act of Parliament to grant it more financial and operational autonomy, given the burgeoning aviation sector in the country.

Earlier when Bhushan headed DGCA, the government had formed a search committee to find his successor but failed.

A major reason for this was the selection criteria laid down by the UPSC for the post, that, among other things, entailed that the appointee should have at least 12 years of administrative and at least five years of hands-on experience in the field of civil aviation.

Unable to find an experienced hand to suit the needs, the government decided to call back Mishra to head this critical organisation.

Mishra has served as a Joint Secretary in the Ministry since March 2007 and was posted to the ICAO in August 2009.

PTI