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Home Page > Travel > Flights > Pilot Jobs

Pilot Jobs

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Posted: Sep 25, 2009 |



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DGCA has found in its records that 174 Indian pilots have been recruited by airlines, chartered operators and flying academies under the provisions of Foreign Aircrew Temporary Authorisation (FATA), meant only for recruiting foreign pilots. “Most are employed with a couple of low-cost airlines such as kingfisher red, Airindiaexpress and some are working with chartered operators,” said an official from the DGCA. The FATA application forms issued by the DGCA under Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR), Series G, asks for details like “name in full of foreign pilot.” However, Indian pilots have not only been filling in their names but their appointments are also being approved by the DGCA office. So why are Indian pilots gaining entry into airlines in India under FATA? There are a number of reasons, the most prominent being that the provisions of FATA are discriminatory and give an unfair advantage to foreign pilots. Sample this: a foreign pilot who was responsible for, say, an air accident in 2007 may not get a promotion as an instructor in his country soon but can work as an instructor in India in 2009 under FATA. An Indian commander with the same record would have to operate safe flights for 10 years (till 2017) to become an instructor. An Indian pilot has to undergo a string of additional medical tests by IAF doctors when they reach the ages of 55, 57, 59 and 60. Foreign pilots in India undergo a simple medical check with a local medical practitioner who is approved by their respective authorities. Lastly, if an Indian commander has to join another airline in India as a commander, he/she should have at least 1,000 hours as pilot-in-command on the same aircraft type. A foreign commander can get the same post with only 100 hours as pilot-in-command. DGCA Nasim Zaidi was not available for comments. So who are these Indian pilots? Most did their commercial pilot licence training abroad. It means they have two licences: the first issued by the foreign country where they did the training and the second obtained from the Indian DGCA after they cleared the foreign licence conversion exams. It is not illegal for a pilot to hold licences issued by more than one country. It is illegal, though, for an Indian pilot to use the foreign licence to gain employment in India under FATA.

“FATA, as the name suggests, is only meant for foreign air crew and it is a temporary permit. In the last four years, though, it has hardly stood for what it means,” a senior official said.

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