Relief for aspiring pilots: DGCA to take over telecom exam

Mumbai: In a relief to aspiring pilots, the government has decided that from next year, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will conduct radio communication skills exams. Currently, the ‘Radio Telephony Restricted (Aeronautical)’ certification exam, called RTR, is held by the Department of Telecommunications’ Wireless Planning & Coordination Wing.
For years, senior pilots have been campaigning for a change on grounds that telecommunications officers who conduct these exams have no flying experience whatsoever.
Pilots radio-communicate with air traffic controllers using phraseology of standardised words and sentences for efficient, error-free communication. Clearing an RTR exam then is an integral part of flying training.
A letter sent by Federation of Indian Pilots (FIP) to the government early this year says that the problem was that the examiners, telecommunications officers, often used their discretion to examine candidates on irrelevant topics that have no bearing on the core subject at hand. The letter goes on to exemplify that it is akin to a heart surgeon appearing for an exam where the examiner, a scientist, asks him/her to explain the electrical circuit of a CT scanner. “…Or a judge being questioned by an architect about the design elements of a sessions court…,” the FIP letter says.
The move to bring about a change began in 2018 when Capt Manoj Hathi, former director, operations, Air India, learnt about malpractices in RTR exams. He informed the then director general of civil aviation, B S Bhullar, who was also of the opinion that this issue had to be sorted out, said Capt Hathi.
17/05/2023 Times of India

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