67 foreign pilots employed by Indian airlines: Govt informs Parliament.

As many as 67 foreign pilots are employed by different Indian airlines, the government said on Thursday.

This development comes two days after the civil aviation ministry said there was a shortage of pilots forcing them to allow airlines to hire foreign pilots.

“According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), there are around 10,000 pilots including 67 foreign nationals employed with various airlines of India,” Dr Gen VK Singh (Retd), minister of state (Mos) for civil aviation, stated in a written reply to Kanimozhi Karunanidhi of DMK.

According to industry projections, there may be a need for 1000 pilots per annum in India over the next five years, Singh said.

“The annual requirement of commercial pilots depends upon various factors such as financial health of an airline, airline expansion plan and growth in the aviation sector,” he added.

Singh stated that 15% of pilots in India are women which is almost three times the global average of 5%. He, however pointed out that currently, there is no special program in the government to encourage pilot training for women and backward classes including SC/STs.

“There are 35 DGCA approved flight training organisations (FTOs) in India operating at 53 bases,” he said.

He also said that data from the Indian scheduled airlines showed that a total of 244 pilots were recruited in 2021 and as on March 1 this year, a total of 15,896 regular officials are employed in Airports Authority of India (AAI) posted across various airports and stations.

In yet another response, Singh stated that the air traffic data for 2022-23 is estimated to be 12.3 million.

Meanwhile, civil aviation secretary Rajiv Bansal had, on Tuesday, stated that the demand of Boeing 777 aircraft pilots is such that for the first time, after years, the government is allowing Foreign Aircrew Temporary Authorization (FATA) pilots.

“Normally we don’t allow foreign pilots. But currently there is demand but there is no skilled competency available. I would go to the extent of saying that this demand has happened since the Air India privatisation took place a year ago. That is why, today we don’t have any Boeing 777 aircraft pilots available in the country and hence we are resorting to taking foreign pilots for a short time” he had said speaking in an aviation summit organised by CAPA India.

Source- Hindustan Times.