The Ministry of Civil Aviation has set up an Independent Accident Investigation Committee on 26.5.2011 to ensure independent, fair and transparent investigation of accidents. This Committee will work under oversight of Ministry of Civil Aviation. The Committee will have following functions and responsibilities:-
i) Draw up a formal procedure for the notification of an accident of serious incident.
ii) Assist Ministry of Civil Aviation in the formation of Court of Inquiry and Committee of Inquiry in case of major accidents.
iii) Carry out investigation of aircraft accident and serious incident and nominate teams/groups for the purpose.
iv) Coordinate and provide support for the working of Court of Inquiry and Committee of Inquiry.
v) Follow-up/monitor the compliance of the recommendation made in the Accident and Serious Incident Investigation Reports.
vi) Accident/Incident Reporting in accordance with the ICOA ADREP Manual.
vii) It shall review periodic report of all occurrences for classification and further action required.
viii) It shall maintain a panel of experts in various fields of aviation such as accident investigation, airworthiness, meteorology, flight operations, air traffic management with background in investigation who may be associated with the investigation process.
There will also be a Secretariat comprising of few officials to assist the above committee in discharge of its functions. This group of Officers will not be responsible for conduct of investigations. Separately, the Ministry will prepare a list of independent experts in different areas such as airworthiness, operation and air traffic control etc.
In case of the unfortunate accident, the Ministry will appoint Committees of Inquiry to be chaired and comprised of other members who will be qualified, skilled and have adequate experience in conducting investigations. All efforts will be made to ensure independence of investigations.
This is also to clarify that the Ministry has not approved any official from DGCA or elsewhere to manage the Secretariat of Independent Accident Investigation Committee. The Ministry will ensure that officers to man the Secretariat will be chosen carefully after due diligence of their track record, experience etc.