Sunday, March 04, 2012

Fly in India to prove competency: Directorate General of Civil Aviation

Aviation watchdog wants pilots with international licenses to give flying test before getting authorization in India; move comes in the wake of recent pilot scam, which involved Directorate General of Civil Aviation officials

According to the latest circular issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), any pilot license obtained from abroad, will require a compulsory competency test in India for endorsement into an Indian license.

Sources close to the DGCA said that changes have been incorporated to put an end to discrepancies that were exposed during the recent pilot scam. DGCA circular number 8/2/2008-LII dated February 21, 2012 (copy with MiD DAY), issued by Joint Director General (JDG), DGCA, J S Rawat, reads, "The current Guidelines for Conversion of Professional Pilot's Licenses issued in International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Contracting States into Indian Professional Pilot's License (Commercial Pilot's License) allow for acceptance of skill test done abroad provided the test reports are duly authenticated by a representative of the Regulatory Authority of the State where the tests have been performed. It is seen that most state authorities do not authenticate the skill reports to meet the procedure laid down in the guidelines. In case Instrument Rating (IR) is not issued by the Contracting State, the skill test carried out in the Contracting State shall not be recognized. For the issue of IR, the applicant shall be required to carry out IR skill test in India."

The circular further recommends, "It has now been decided by the Competent Authority that all applications for issue of Indian, Commercial Pilot License (CPL) will be accompanied with skill test reports on at least one aircraft type required to be endorsed on the Indian license. All applications received on or after April 1, 2012 shall be accompanied with skill test report carried out in India."

Test of skills

J S Rawat, JDG, DGCA, said, "Earlier we were considering IR skills tests done abroad, but from now, it will be a must for every candidate to undergo the competency test in India for any endorsement in Indian license. Earlier we were only conducting written tests. Now, we will also conduct IR skill tests." A source from within the DGCA, disclosed that changes are being made to ensure that only capable candidates get endorsement.

Fake pilot expose

The DGCA faced charges of corruption in April 2011, after several pilots flying for various airlines were found to have forged their licenses. Flying schools in Rajasthan and Haryana were found tampering with flying-hours logbook. Later, the Rajasthan police and the Delhi police, arrested over two-dozen people in connection with the fraud. During the course of investigation, names of several DGCA officials also appeared, following which they were suspended.

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