India requires 100 more pilots every year: H S Puri

Representative PTI photo

The aviation sector requires around 100 more pilots every year and the government would upgrade its flying training academies to bridge the shortfall.

According to Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri, there are 32 Flying Training Organisations (FTOs) in the country, which train around 350 pilots every year.

In this 23 FTOs are in the private sector and rest nine are with the Centre and various state governments.

"We require 100 more pilots every year because we are inducting 100 planes, which means around 700 pilots are required," said Puri in Rajya Sabha.

"We are training around 350 pilots. We get some retired pilots from the Air Force and Navy personnel," he said.

According to the minister, half of the total 9,000 pilots are in the commander level and rest in other categories.

"We require foreign pilots in some categories," he said.

The minister said, "We are in the process of upgrading our facilities so that instead of 350 or so pilots, we take this number by a few hundreds".

However, on being asked about the places where the academies would come up, Puri said, "I am not in a position to take commitment where it would be located."

The minister was replying to a supplementary question asked by Ravi Prakash Verma on conversion of Balia airstrip in Lakhimpur Kheri into a pilot training academy. 

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