Ministry shelves proposal to hire local pilots for expats

July 11, 2013

New Delhi: The civil aviation ministry has turned down a proposal by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to make it mandatory for airlines to hire two new local pilots for every expatriate on their payrolls. If accepted, the proposal would have immensely improved the employment prospects of commercial pilot licence (CPL) holders in India.

India has about unemployed 4,000 CPL holders. The number of expat pilots in the country stand at around 300, down from 800 in 2010. The total number of pilots in the country is 3,800, out of which 25 per cent are commanders.
If cleared, the proposal would have made airlines hire 600 new local pilots.
While the DGCA’s proposal says airlines should employ two new locals for every foreign pilot, it doesn’t say entrust the locals with cockpit duty right away. The proposal is aimed at reducing unemployment among CPLs in India.
A senior at the ministry said, “The proposal was to extend the deadline for phasing out expat pilots to 2016 for airlines that hire two local commercial pilot licence holders for every expat. But we cannot issue a directive to airlines in this regard as it is legally untenable.” The deadline for phasing out expats has, nonetheless, been extended by three years.
11/07/13 Sharmistha Mukherjee/Business Standard

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