Process For CPL Made Flexible, Smooth: Civil Aviation Ministry

The Government is aware of the shortage of pilots in India and has taken steps to achieve self-sufficiency in trained Indian pilots, Minister of State in the Ministry of Civil Aviation General (Retd) VK Singh said on Monday.

The minister was responding in Rajya Sabha to a question asked by Member of Parliament TG Venkatesh who queried whether the Government is aware of the shortage of pilots in India and abroad which is posing a serious problem of flights operation.
Singh, in a written reply, mentioned that the government is aware of shortage of pilots in India. According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, out of the total Commercial Pilot License (CPL) issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the present share of foreign-trained cadets is about 40 per cent.

On being asked whether the government has any plans of setting up more pilot training centres in every State to achieve self-sufficiency in trained Indian pilots and replace foreign pilots which also reduces unemployment as well.

Singh replied that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had on September 25, 2020 come up with a liberalised Flying Training Organisations (FTO) policy where the concept of airport royalty (revenue share payment by FTOs to AAI) has been abolished and land rentals have been significantly rationalised.

AAI has issued award letters on May 31, 2021 and October 29, 2021 for nine FTOs to be established at five airports at Belagavi (Karnataka), Jalgaon (Maharashtra), Kalaburagi (Karnataka), Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh) and Lilabari (Assam). The soft launch of two FTOs at Kalabuargi was done on August 15, 2021 under its liberalised policy.

He further stated that DGCA has introduced a new Online On-Demand Examination (OLODE) for the aircraft maintenance engineers (AME) and flight crew (FC) candidates with effect from November 2021. These license examinations provide an opportunity for the candidates to choose the date and time to appear in the examination as per his/her choice on the available slots of the examination.

“DGCA has modified its regulations to empower Flying Instructors with the right to authorise flight operations at FTOs. This will help increase the flying hours and aircraft utilisation at each FTO and lead to faster completion of the CPL requirements,” he said.

India’s largest flying academy – Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA) at Amethi (Uttar Pradesh) – has been permitted to carry out pilot training in Gondia (Maharashtra) and Kalaburagi (Karnataka) to enhance its flying hours and aircraft utilisation, which get severely affected during winter months due to visibility issues.

IGRUA has started operating on all weekends and holidays in order to enhance its flying hours. Other private FTOs are also encouraged to do so, he added. (ANI)

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