New Delhi: Faced with an acute shortage of trained pilots, various airlines have engaged nearly 1,000 foreign pilots, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.
However, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has advised all scheduled, non-scheduled and general aviation operators to submit their plan to phase out foreign pilots and replace them by trained Indian pilots, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Praful Patel said in a written reply.
As per the plan submitted by the operators, all the foreign pilots are likely to be repatriated in approximately five years time, he said.
Patel said various scheduled airlines have engaged 944 foreign pilots in order to bridge the gap between demand and availability of pilots.
The government has also taken numerous steps to reduce the gap between demand and supply of skilled Indian pilots. These include conditionally increasing the age-limit to 65 years for pilots, upgradation and modernisation of training infrastructure of the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi to enhance training capacity from 40 to 100 pilots per year.
Also steps are being taken to set up a world class flying training institute at Gondia, Maharashtra for training 100 cadets and assistance to flying clubs by allocating trainer aircraft through the DGCA and Aero Club of India, he said.