Civil flights stuck in the 5G web, a difficult choice

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      The recent USA regulatory circular on the affect of 5G network on flight operations has thrown the aircraft makers in a tizzy. The 5G network which has been rolled out in various parts of the world has subscribers drooling with the promise of blazing internet speeds which could download a movie in 5 seconds.  The 5G network affects the operations of the radio altimeter of the aircraft which could interfere with various systems like the automatic landing, Ground Proximity Warning Systems, Displays etc. The two big aircraft makers have approached the FAA to help mitigate the risk by delaying the launch of the 5G network in the USA. The question which arises is, what about the rest of the world where 5G has already been deployed and aircraft flying in and out daily? Well yes, the airline industry would loose billions as the flight operations would get impacted especially in poor visibility conditions. However, there doesn't seem to be any concern towards possible lives being los

Aviation ministry sits on INR1450 Cr in the backdrop of unpaid salaries & COVID crisis

 


Un-utilised funds

COVID19 crisis has crippled the aviation sector which has witnessed salary cuts and job losses to stay afloat. In this time of crisis the civil aviation ministry has managed to overlook utilization of budgetary allocation of a staggering INR1450 Cr FY 2020-21. 

This has been recorded in the report of the Parliamentary committee on transport tabled  in March 2021.

The report in para 8.1 states the following "The Committee is distressed to note that the Ministry has been able to spend only 64.9% of the enhanced RE allocation of ₹4131.63 crores, which means that the Ministry has to spend ₹1450.78 crore in the remaining two months of the Financial Year 2020-21.


 The Committee apprehends significant underutilization of the budgetary funds available with the Ministry. At a time when the Government was facing major financial troubles on account of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry received a considerable boost of 8.8% at RE 2020-21, as compared to BE 2020-21. 


Poor utilization of the funds would lead to idling of funds which should have been avoided. The Committee would like the Ministry to take stock of the reasons which caused the slow pace of utilization of funds and take corrective measures to ensure optimum utilization of the allocated funds, during the Financial Year 2021-22. "


The government had decided to roll back 5% of the Air India pilot's salaries after a substantial cut in April 2020. The union rejected the offer. In the letter the Air India pilot's union said that the disproportionate unilateral pay cut imposed on pilots due to the covid-19 pandemic, since April 2020, amounts to a gross reduction of upto 58% of their salaries.

"This cut has been carefully worded to slash our wages by more than half while insulating top management from any meaningful austerity contribution such as a fair percentage cut on gross emoluments which spreads the burden fairly," the unions said in the letter.

"We have gone above and beyond during this pandemic risking life & limb to ensure the success of Vande Bharat Mission. In spite of 171 pilots testing COVID-19 positive, operations continue to run smoothly even in the face of a resurgence of an even deadlier strain of COVID19," they added.

While there is no accountability on the part of the government, a colossal waste in midst of the pandemic crisis is criminal.

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