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Thanks to new policy, pilots' dreams to come true

Shemin Joy, June 17, 2016, NEW DELHI: DHNS: 1:34 IST
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju. DH file photo
Around 8,000 pilots, currently unemployed as they were unable to cough up Rs 25 lakh and 30 lakh for a skill test, can now dream of flying, with government aid.

According to the Civil Aviation Policy unveiled on Wednesday, the Civil Aviation Ministry will develop a scheme to provide financial support for type rating of pilots. Type rating is a regulating agency's certification of an airplane pilot to fly a certain aircraft type that requires additional training beyond the scope of the initial licence and aircraft class training.

While delving on the skill-building scope in the aviation sector, the 36-page policy said after obtaining a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), it is necessary for a pilot to get type rated to get employment in an airline. "This puts enormous financial burden on the pilot having CPL as type-rating costs anywhere between Rs 25 and 30 lakh," it said.

Putting the number of pilots holding CPL but who have not found regular employment at around 8,000, the policy said the ministry would work out a detailed scheme separately either by setting up a facility at the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Academy or Air India or in PPP mode. "Alternatively, training in existing institutes will be subsidised. This scheme will be operational from 2017-18, subject to the availability of funds," the policy said.

The document admits that the aviation sector has been "hamstrung" by a shortage of appropriate skills required in different sectors of civil aviation. This is not only in the area of trained pilots, but also aircraft engineers and technicians, cabin crew, ground handling staff, cargo handling staff, and administrative and sale staff.

According to estimates, the policy said the sector’s incremental human resource requirement would be around 3.3 lakh by 2025. A growing civil aviation sector can generate at least 9.77 lakh direct and around 30 lakh indirect jobs by 2035, an earlier study conducted for the ministry said.

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