Indian airlines’ unqualified pilots scandal
March 16th, 2011 by elisa

A pilot working for Air India was arrested at the weekend for faking his qualifications, and at least four other pilots have recently been accused of using false documentation to obtain their licences. The situation has prompted a large scale investigation amongst Indian aviation regulators and means that thousands of commercial airline pilots will have to have their licences checked.

India’s director general of civil aviation (DGCA) Bharat Bhushan has told reporters that around 4000 licences will come under scrutiny and the Delhi police will also be part of the investigation.

India’s growing wealth and increase in low-cost flying has seen a surge in demand for pilots.

Suspicions were raised about some pilots last month when the DGCA revoked a licence of a pilot for domestic carrier IndiGo Airlines after it was found she had handed in forged qualifications. The pilot had not landed an A320 well and caused considerable damage which made her superiors question her capability.

Her airline transport pilot’s licence was found to have been gained from forged papers. Two more pilots, flying for IndiGo and MDLR Airlines, also lost their licences after it was discovered that they had never properly graduated from co-pilot status.


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