India Would Like Foreign Pilots to Fly Away


In India, they have grown less and less fond of foreign, or non-Indian, airline pilots. In fact, if the nation’s government and the agency in charge of regulating civil aviation have their way, there won’t be any non-Indians flying the commercial airways by December, 2013. But as is so often the case inIndia, the issue is complex. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the airline regulating agency, had in March, 2009 ordered all Indian airlines to dismiss all foreign pilots by July of 2010. But the DGCA backed down when it became obvious that demand for experienced domestic airline pilots exceeded the supply available from Indian flight schools and from pilots leaving the military. And apparently this situation persists. There just are not enough Indians with the training and experience needed to qualify as captains in India’s ever growing airline industry. However, the cost of the foreign pilots and the impact of that cost on domestic airlines is becoming a big problem, literally. There are about 400 non-Indian pilots in India, about 20% of the flying force; but because of their experience foreign pilots are paid much more than Indians in the same positions. This has, understandably, caused quite a bit of resentment amongst the pilots and co-pilots of the Indian airways. (Aviation Week – India Wants Foreign Pilots Out)


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