Booming aviation industry creates shortage of skilled pilots

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New Delhi, Nov 20 (UNI) India would require 5000 additional pilots for scheduled operations and 1000 pilots for non-scheduled operations during the next five years in view of the exponential growth in the country's civil aviation industry, the government said today.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said the spiralling growth in the civil aviation industry had resulted in an increase in the number of scheduled and non-scheduled operations, with many of them going in for a fleet expansion programme, including new types of aircraft.

Mr Patil said such a scenario had manifested in shortage of pilots.

''To overcome the shortage of pilots, foreign pilots are employed by the airline operators after validation of their foreign licences,'' he added.

With regard to measures to reduce the gap between demand and supply of skilled Indian pilots, the minister referred to conditionally increasing the age-limit to 65 years for pilots for exercising the privileges of their licences for commercial transport operations and upgrading and modernising training infrastructure of Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Udaan Akademi (IGRUA) to enahnce its training capacity.

In this context, he also mentioned steps like setting up of a world class flying training institute at Gondia (Maharashtra) and asistance to flying clubs by allocating trainer aircraft through Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Aero Club of India.

Replying to another query, Mr Patel said the government had decided to modernise 35 non-metro airports by 2010. These airports are located at places like Amritsar, Chandigarh, Jammu, Pune, Bhopal, Guwahati, Lucknow, Goa, Jaipur, Coimbatore, Madurai and Mangalore.


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