New Delhi: Becoming a pilot may be the most common childhood fantasy but the horror stories tumbling out of Indian airlines in past few years — led by the Kingfisher disaster — seems to be now luring fewer youths to the skies now. There has been a steady decline in the number of commercial pilot licences (CPL) issued by the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) in past four years.
While in 2011, DGCA issued 823 CPLs, the number dropped to 654 and 591 in the next two years. From January to June this year, only 383 CPLs have been issued, minister of state for civil aviation G M Siddeshwara told Parliament on Monday.
Aviation industry insiders say India has hundreds of unemployed trainee pilots, many of them CPL holders. As a result, the country has excess co-pilots, while there is a shortage of commanders.
There has been a long-standing demand from the unemployed CPL holders that Indian carriers must phase out all expat pilots they have on their rolls. In a parliamentary reply, the aviation ministry said 277 expat pilots were working with schedule and non-schedule airlines here as on March 31, 2014. Jet and IndiGo with 121 and 45 expats, respectively, led the list.
04/08/14 Times of India