IATA asks aviation industry to tackle looming pilot shortage

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New Delhi, Nov 30 (UNI) The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has warned the world's airlines of a severe pilot shortage unless the industry and governments work together to change training and qualification practices.

According to IATA's latest estimates, the industry may need 17,000 new pilots annually due to expected industry growth and retirements.

''Increasing the retirement age to 65 will help, but it cannot be the only solution. It's time to ring the alarm bell. We must re-think pilot training and qualification to further improve saftey and increase training capacity,'' says IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani.

He told the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) International Safety Forum in Washington yesterday that the industry was concerned that ''there are no global standards for training concepts or regulation''.

''Pilot training has not changed in 60 years. We are still ticking boxes with an emphasis on flight hours,'' a press release received here quoted him as saying.

Mr Bisignani also called on government leaders at the Safety Forum to incorporate the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) into their regulations.

''The list is growing too slowly,'' he regretted.

IATA has some 240 members comprising 94 per cent of scheduled international traffic.

UNI

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