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‘Foreign pilots to be eased out by 2013’

Published on 12 Jul. 2011 12:01 AM IST
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Foreign pilots employed in the Indian aviation industry would be asked to leave by 2013, the head of the country’s airlines regulator said Monday. “This is the date that we are planning and we feel that we will be able to achieve it,” Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) E.K. Bharat Bhushan said here. He said the airline industry will through this make huge savings because such pilots are highly paid. Presently, 415 foreign pilots are employed in the country, Bhushan said. “At the moment, we have about 1,300 pilots from our country who are flying. Currently, one issue that is being faced is that we are dependent on these foreign pilots, because most of our pilots are co-pilots,” said Bhushan. Speaking on the recent issue of fake pilot licences, he said that the agency was taking the matter seriously and that of the 6,500 commercial pilot licence (CPL) holders in India, just 500 are left to be verified again. He added that there are 40 flying schools in the country, out of which 18 have been audited and those found deficient have been served with show cause notices. He said the Airline Transport Pilot Licence examinations will be held online from August. “But the CPL examination will be like what it is today. We are working out a programme where we will soon come out with a question bank to be put on the web for those appearing for the CPL exam,” said Bhushan, a Kerala cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer. He said the aviation industry is poised for huge growth, as seen from the passenger movement that has gone up 24 percent in the last calendar year, up from 50 million passengers in 2009. “There are seven scheduled private airlines currently operating with a total of 433 aircraft and the prediction is that in 15 years, the total number of aircraft would cross 1,000. Departures per week in the country in 2005 were 6,500 and last year, they touched 12,000,” said Bhushan.

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