Sir - I feel that further explanation is required on the article "Mystery in the East", in which I have been quoted (Flight International, 26 February-4 March, P42).

I accused the Indian Government not of "moving too fast", but of moving without having any policy. All it has done is to publish sets of "guidelines" at frequent intervals. I also suggested that the issues and policy statement should not be undertaken in isolation, but in co-operation with the industry - which would take a long time.

As for foreign-airline "technology", I wish I knew what this much-bandied word means, particularly in the context of civil airlines, whose fleets are from either Boeing or Airbus Industrie.

Engineering maintenance - another "technology" item - is strictly in accordance with the Indian National Civil Airworthiness Authority. Most maintenance tools and equipment are supplied by the West - and are, therefore, presumably "high technology". Indian civil aviation has been accused of over-maintenance, but never, to my knowledge, of poor maintenance.

Indian pilots fly, train and check others almost worldwide. It seems, therefore, that the "technology" of pilot training is satisfactory. Indians occupy significant positions in Asian and US airline managements, so the "technology" of management practice does not seem to be a factor.

A policy for the industry and the regulatory environment is needed within which these "technologies" can be brought together cost-effectively. In this alone, India is deficient.

How will a foreign airline be able to supply India with crucial "technology" without the co-operation of a Government which refuses to think, let alone act?


Chief Executive

Northern Aviation

New Delhi, India

Source: Flight International